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\ \ 



Printed by LoRiMER and Chalmers, Edinburgh 



February^ X903 



a Contritjution to tl}t (ZEarlp l^istorp 
of ©uman 3Intcrcour0c 



''^ Dederat natura omnia omnibus, Sed cum a rerum multarum usu, quas 
vita desiderat humana^ locorum intervallo homines arcerentur^ quia . . . 
nan ovinia ubique proveniunt^ opus fuit trajectione ; nee adhuc tamen per- 
mutatio erat^ sed aliis vicissim rebus apud alios repertis suo arbitrio 
utebantur ; quo fere modo apud Seres dicitur rebus in solitudine relictis sola 
mutantium religione peragi commercium.*' — Grotius. 





The Silent Trade, — " Stummer Handel," — " Le Commerce 
par d^pdts," — has been frequently mentioned, but has 
never, so far as the writer is aware, been made the 
subject of adequate treatment. In this little book, an 
attempt is made to give some account of it in operation 
and survival, — to show what were the circumstances 
of its origin and what the effects produced by it ; — 
»>> in a word, — to assign it its place in the history of early 
institutions. In the introductory pages, only those facts 
relating to primitive society are presented, which seem 
to have a direct bearing upon the practice ; and the 
neutrality of the primitive market and the protection 
of the stranger-guest are dealt with at a later stage of 
the argument only in order to indicate their close 
connection with the "peace," which it was the first to 

P. J. H. G. 

Edinburgh, 1903. 



L— INTRODUCTION, Secs. i to 25. 

I. — The Subject and Method of Inquiry, Secs. i to 4. 

Subject of Inquiry, sec. i. Sense in which the tenns " primitive," "modern," 
" change," are used, sec. 2. We are to look among hunting tribes for the 
evidence regarding the institutions with which we are concerned, sec. 3. 
Typical hunting peoples, sec. 4. 

II. — The Group and its Neighbours, Secs. 5 to 17. 

Form of primitive social organisation, sec. 5. The family group ; mutual aid ; 
woman's help indispensable, sec. 6. Mode of obtaining a wife : by means 
of presents, services, exchanges ; conjugal relations, sec. 7. Personal pro- 
perty ; position of women ; how personal property is acquired and 
protected; **tapu,'* "tabu," **pomali," **mutue," "piece of medicine," 
sec. 8. Character of relations between family groups ; hospitality ; formal 
bond of friendship ; presents ; mutual aid and responsibility ; interchange 
of visits, sec. 9. Commerce, or usages leading to commerce, within the 
related groups ; practice of giving and receiving ; expectation or under- 
standing that return will be made, sees, 10 and 11. Are these peoples 
ignorant of commerce ? Refusal to trade may be due to causes other than 
ignorance of trading, sec. 1 1. Union of related groups for common under- 
taking, such as trading, defence, plundering, pursuit of criminal, religious 
ceremonies ; signals between such groups ; union of unrelated groups 
against common enemy, sec. 12. Authority of superior men ; of seniors, 
sec. 13. Force of public opinion ; of tribal custom ; the singing combat, 
sec. 14. Observance of custom secured by fear of the consequences of 
disregarding it, sec. 15. Land rights of individuals and related groups, 
sec. 16. Boundaries of tribal t^irritory well defined ; regarded as under 
supernatural protection ; Hermes- Mercurius, sec. 17. 


III. — The Stranger, Sees. i8 to 20. 

The stranger held to be an enemy ; evidence of language ; hated and feared as 
a being possessed of supernatural powers; regarded as a monster or 
demon; sometimes safe in virtue of his totem, sec. 18. The stranger 
regarded as without rights ; evidence of language ; the exile and the out- 
law ; primitive conception of theft ; treatment of persons shipwrecked ; 
confiscation of goods of deceased foreigner, sec. 19. The stranger hated 
and feared most by that part of the population which lies farthest from 
its borders, sec 20. 

IV. — Summary, Sees. 21 to 25. 

MARKET, Secs. 26 to 40. 

I. — The Silent Trade, Secs. 26 to 29. 

L^end of Wayland Smith ; instances of the silent trade where the parties to 
it are unseen by one another ; tribes near Arctic Ocean ; Lapps ; at 
Khorasan ; among tribes near the Niger, on the Gambia, near Wangara 
and Loanda, on the Congo, on the confines of Egypt and Ethiopia, on 
islands of the Indian Ocean, in Sumatra, Buru, Ceram, and the Am Archi- 
pelago, in Ceylon, in Madura, in Guatemala, in the Mosquito Country, in 
New Mexico, among a people of the Andes, and in Newfoundland, sec. 26. 
Instances of the silent trade where the parties to it are not necessarily 
unseen by one another ; among the Chukchi, the inhabitants of Livonia, 
the people of Sasu, the Makuas, tribes on the West Coast of Africa, at 
Fernando Po, on the Niger ; among the Seres, the Sesatai, and the natives 
of Timor ; practice of the natives of Brazil, sec. 27. Instances of the silent 
trade being carried on through a middle-man ; on the lower Niger, at 
Hai-nan, and among the Aleuts and Puelches, sec. 28. Instances of a 
religious element in the silent trade ; on West Coast of Africa and among 
Sabseans; query, — whether the Sabaeans are rightly credited with the 
practice, sec. 29. 


II. — The Primitive Market, Sees. 30 to 35. 

Similarity of usages of the primitive market to those of the silent trade ; silent 
trading in Mexican markets ; in oriental markets ; market at Somu-Somu ; 
Eskimo fair ; market at Wairuku, sec. 30. Market in border-land a 
neutral spot ; market cross, sec. 31. Markets under supernatural pro- 
tection ; Hermes- Mercurius, sec. 32. Extension of the market-peace ; 
the privilege becomes personal rather than local, sec. 33. This neutrality 
frequently takes the form of a truce, sec. 34. The business of the market 
often carried on through a middleman; Hermes- Mercurius ; ngia- 
ngiampe ; inviolability of ambassador ; does it originate in the privilege 
of the middle-man? sec. 35. 

III. — Comment, Sees. 36 to 40. 

Explanations of the silent trade ; characteristics of the parties to the practice, 
sec. 36. The practice is due to different causes ; examples ; explanation 
suggested as the true explanation, sec. 37. A second form of the practice, 
sec. 38. The practice as a survival, sec. 39. The market is a form of 
intercourse higher than the earlier practice, sec. 40. 

Ill— PRIMITIVE HOSPITALITY, Secs. 41 to 51. 

Hospitality within the tribe and between tribes ; words signifying at once 
guest and enemy, sec. 41. Signs of friendship and welcome, sec. 42. 
Protection of stranger and its limits ; escort ; tokens ; •* tessera 
hospitalis," &c. ; ngia-ngiampe ; characteristics of primitive hospitality ; 
lending wives, sec. 43. Person of guest sacred, sec. 44. Exchange of 
names ; blood -brotherhood ; oath of friendship ; penalties for breach of 
oath ; drinking blood prevents treachery, sec. 45. Protection of 
stranger; "mopato" and ** molekane," "pagally," "maat," sec. 46. 
Protection of stranger; "dakheil," "nazil,'* sec. 47. Protection of 
stranger; the "abban," sec. 48. Royal protection; guest-houses, 
sec. 49. Punishment of inhospitality ; position of stranger in a foreign 
land ; protection of "tabu," sec. 50. Summary, sec 51. 


IV.— CONCLUSIONS, Secs. 52 to 62. 

The silent trade and inter-tribal intercourse; the conqueror and the slave, 
sec. 52. The primitive market and inter- tribal intercourse, sec. 53. 
Primitive and modern hospitality ; the former a public institution ; it is 
obligatory ; its limits, sec. 54. Protector and prot6g6 ; the stranger either 
a trader or an enemy, sec. 55. Individual and common interests ; public 
opinion, sec. 56. Function of law ; legal development, sec. 57. The 
course of legal development ; conservative character of change, sec. 58. 
Law, morality, and religion ; corporate responsibility ; custom and 
religion, sec. 59. Custom and individual character ; custom at once 
legal, moral, and religious ; hospitality and the Phoenicians, sec. 60. 
Later history of hospitality, sec. 61. Neutrality and hospitality are 
extensions of the ** peace " introduced by the silent trade, sec. 62. 



The Subject and Method of Inquiry, 

Sec. I. Man is a social animal, and, like other such 
animals, enjoys the companionship of his fellows, gives 
them more or less of his sympathy, and is more or less 
ready to assist them. But just as the social instincts of 
the brute extend, not to all the individuals of its kind, but 
to those only of its pack, so the social feelings of primitive 
man are effectively active only within the association to 
which he belongs.^ The modern view and the modern 
practice are altogether different. We profess, at all 
events, to regard and treat our fellow-men as the subjects 
of rights and duties, not because they are members of a 
certain family, or tribe or nation, but because they are men. . 
And the question presents itself, — how has this change .» 
been brought about? To this question we shall not / 
attempt to furnish a complete answer. What we propose ; 
to do is to turn to primitive man and his surroundings, — 

^ See C. Darwin, "Descent of Man," second edition, London, 1888, 
1. 150 seq, 




to inquire what are the characteristics of the group of 
which he is a member, what is the need which impels him 
to enter into relations with men outside of that group, and 
what are the methods which he employs in his endeavours 
to supply that need. We believe that an examination of 
the evidence which bears upon these points will enable us 
to discover some of the more important factors which have 
operated to produce the change with which we are 

Sec. 2. We have contrasted " primitive " with " modern," 
and we have spoken of " change " ; and it is proper that 
we should state at the outset what we mean when we use 
these terms. Change can take place only in time, but 
lapse of time does not necessarily imply change ; and a 
mode of thought or action may remain unaltered during 
the course of ages. Accordingly, when we speak of 
" change," we have in mind not so much a succession in 
time as a process of development ; and when we oppose 
"primitive" to "modern," we intend to indicate not so 
much an epoch in time as a stage in a process. Further, 
such a term as " primitive " can be used with accuracy only 
as a relative term ; and, accordingly, when we use the 
expression " the primitive group," we mean not the simplest 
form of human society, but the simplest form of human 
society with regard to which we have reliable evidence.^ 

Sec. 3. Where, then, are we to look for the evidence 
regarding the primitive group? Plainly, not to pastoral, 
still less to agricultural, peoples ; but rather to those who 
are dependent for their daily sustenance upon the spoils of 
the chase and the bounty of the untilled earth. The 
rude hunter takes little or no thought for the morrow; he 

1 See R. V, Iheriog, <<Der Geist des Romischen Rechts," Leipzig, 1878, 
i. 60 seq. 


lives by killing and does nothing to replace the life which 
he has taken ; and he wastes and even destroys what he 
cannot then and there consume. In favoured regions the 
man who neither plants nor sows, who has neither flocks 
nor herds, is not infrequently brought face to face with 
starvation. For the means of subsistence, which any one 
spot affords, are soon exhausted ; and, when these fail him, 
he must change his ground ; he must follow the game in 
its migrations ; he must, in short, devote himself almost 
continuously to a search for his daily food. The case of 
the herdjm^n is widely different. His chief concern is not 
to destroy animal life but to preserve and foster it, so that it 
shall not only suffice to supply the wants of the moment, 
but assure to him a resource upon which he can always 
draw. To produce this result requires not only the 
constant exercise of a far-sighted prudence, but the co- 
operation of all the members of the community. In other 
words, all must join in the endeavour to carry out a plan 
which takes into account the future as well as the present. 
Their practical life is not a mere series of unconnected 
acts; for it is formed upon a scheme, in which each act 
has its place, and to the realisation of which each act 
contributes. And this observation applies no less to those 
who cultivate the lands upon which they have settled. 
They, too, have common aims, common interests, and 
common work; and what they aim at, what they are 
interested in, and what they work for, is to secure 
the conditions of permanent well-being. In this con- 
ception and conduct of life we can discern the begin- 
nings of an economy and of a social organisation 
unknown to the primitive hunter ;^ and, as we wish 

^ See H. Lotze, " Mikrokosmos," 3te Aufl. Leipzig, 1878, ii. 426, 427 ; 
E. B. Tylor, "Anthropology," London, 188 1, p. 220. 


to commence at the commencement, we shall return to 

Sec. 4. Now we are told of the Fuegians that " they 
never attempt to make use of the soil by any kind of 
culture : seeds, birds, fish, and particularly shell-fish being 
their principal subsistence."^ So, too, the Australian 
"will hunt, fish, trap, dig up roots which are ready 
for food, grind grass seeds into flour, but sow or plant 
he will not."* The food of the Bushman consists of 
bulbous roots, ostrich eggs, the larvae of ants and locusts, 
and fish and game. He does not cultivate the soil, 
nor has he any permanent abode; but wanders from 
place to place, rarely passing two nights in the same 
spot* A very similar account is given by Father 
Baegert of the aborigines of the Californian Peninsula.* 
The Veddahs of Nilgala "move about from forest 

^ Of course we do not mean to affirm that the institutions of a community 
on the lowest level of economic development in every case represent the 
earliest form of those institutions. A pastoral tribe may practise marriage 
customs which have been handed down unchanged from their forefathers who 
lived by the chase ; while the marriage customs of a hunting-tribe may be 
very different from those followed by their ancestors. We can make such an 
assertion only, and to a limited extent, in regard to those institutions which 
are directly affected by the economic circumstances of the community 
within which they subsist ; and it is with such institutions that we are 
concerned in the following pages (see J. Kohler, zur Rechtsphilosophie 
und vergleichenden Rechtswissenschaft, Juristisches Litteraturblatt, vii. 

* King and Fitz-Roy, " Narrative of the Voyages of the Adventure and 
Beagle t^ London, 1839, ii. 178; cp. Hyades et Deniker, "Mission du Cap 
Horn, 1882-83," Paris, 189 1, vii. 338 seq, 

« E. M. Curr, **The Australian Race," London, 1886, i. 79. 

* H. Lichtenstein, "Travels in South Africa, in the years i8o3-i8o6,*''transl. 
Plumptre, London, 1815, ii. 44 seq, 193 ; J. Barrow, ** An Account of Travels 
into the Interior of South 'Africa in the years 1797, 1798," London, 1801, i. 276 ; 
D. Livingstone, " Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa," London^ 

1857, p. 49- 

* ** Report of . . . Spaithsonian Institute for 1863," pp. 361-64. 


to forest ... in search of bees and game ; " ^ and the 
Kubus of Sumatra " cultivate nothing for themselves, and 
live entirely on the products of the forest*' They occupy 
their rude shelters for a few days only at a time ; so long, 
that is to say, as food is obtainable in the neighbourhood.^ 
Again, it is said of the Shoshonee Indians that they never 
plant a seed, but subsist upon roots, fish, and the flesh of 
the buffalo ; ^ while Dobritzhoffer describes certain tribes 
of the Abipones as " living like wild beasts, neither reap- 
ing nor sowing, nor taking any heed of agriculture." * These 
peoples we may take as types of the primitive hunting 
and fishing community ; and accordingly, it is to them, and 
to people such as they are, that we shall look for the 
evidence regarding the relations, which, in early times, 
subsisted between man and man and between group and 


The Group and its Neighbours. 

Sec. 5. According to King and Fitz-Roy, " scarcity of 
food, and the facility with which they move from one 
place to another in their canoes, are, no doubt, the reasons 
why the Fuegians are always so dispersed among the 
islands in small family parties, why they never remain 
long in one place, and why a large number are not seen 

1 J. Bailey, "An Account of the Wild Tribes of the Veddahs of Ceylon," in 
Trans. £thn. Soc, N.S., London, 1862, ii. 282. 

2 H. O. Forbes, "Journal of Anthrop. Inst.," xiv. 122. 

3 H. R. Schoolcraft, " Historical and Statistical Information regarding the 
History ... of the Indian Tribes of the United States," Philadelphia, 
1 8$ I -60, i. 207, 211; Lewis apd Clarke, "Travels to the Source of the 
Missouri River ... in the years 1804-06," new edition, London, 1815, 
ii. 162. 

* "An Account of the Abipones," transl. from the Latin, London, 1822, 
ii. no, 113. * See above, sec. 3 last note. 


many days in society."^ Of a branch of this race — the 

Yaghans of Cape Horn — Bridges ^ says that their families 

live in clans of which the members are related ; but that 

all the members of the clan are "only occasionally and 

then always incidentally'* to be found together. The 

Australian tribe hunts, camps, and lives, not in a body, 

but in small chance parties, which meet only from time to 

time ; * and between the separate Bushman hordes, of 

which each " commonly consists of the different members 

of one family only," there is so little intercourse that the 

names of the most ordinary objects are different in the 

different hordes.* Of the Veddahs of Nilgala it is said that 

" they are distributed through their lovely country in small 

septs or families," which hold little communication with 

one another ; ^ and of the Kubus of Sumatra, that they live 

in small hordes, each family having a separate existence.* 

The Shoshonees are found in small detached bodies and 

single families ; ^ and similar accounts are given of many 

other hunting and fishing tribes.^ 

1 II. 177 ; cp. C. Wilkes, "Narrative of the United States* Exploring Ex- 
pedition, during the years 1838-42," London, 1845, i* ^^4- 

* Ap. E. Westermark, " The History of Human Marriage," second edition, 
London, 1894, p. 44. "The smaller divisions keep more together. . . . 
Occasionally as many as five families are to be found living together in a 
wigwam, but generally two families." 

' Curr, i. 53 ; E. J. Eyre, "Journals of Expeditions of Discovery into 
Central Australia ... in the years 1840-41," London, 1845, ii. 218 ; see 
Westermark, 45, 48. According to B. Spencer and F. J. Gillen, **The 
Native Tribes of Central Australia," London, 1899, p. 16, these small parties 
consist, among the Central Australian natives, of one or two families. 

* Lichtenstein, ii. 48, 49. * Bailey, 281. 

* Globus, xxvi. 44. ' Schoolcraft, i. 224. 

^ P. S. Pallas, "Voyages . . . dans plusieurs provinces de 1' Empire de Russie, 
et dans TAsie Septentrionale, trad, de Gauthier de la Peyronie," Paris, 1800, 
iii. 310 (V<^ls) ; Meyer in Peterm. Mittn., 1874, P* '9 (Negrittos in Luzon) ; 
J. Hector and W. S. W. Vaux, " Notice of the Indians seen by the exploring 
expedition under the command of Captain Palliser," in the Trans. Ethn. Soc., 
N.S., i. 246 (Thickwood Crees) ; and Westermark, 46 (several Brazilian tribes). 


Thus it appears that amongst those peoples, whose 
social organisation may be regarded as primitive, the 
population is scattered over a wide ^ area in small groups 
in the nature of families. 

Sec. 6. The group is an association more or less per- 
manent, brought about not merely, or even mainly, by the 
cravings of passing appetite, but by the pressure of a 
constant need, — the need of mutual assistance. The man 
protects the women and children, and hunts for their 
support. He constructs the shelter, builds the canoe, 
trains his dogs, and prepares his weapons for war and for 
the chase. To the woman is left the rest of the work. 
Her aid is indispensable in procuring food ; not only for 
herself and her children, when her master is absent, but 
for him, when his time is too much occupied in pursuit of 
the larger animals to allow of his providing for himself. 
Among the Fuegians, for example, she gathers mussels and 
catches fish, and, in addition, attends to her children, 
makes baskets, fishing-lines, and necklaces, and paddles 
her lord's canoe.^ So necessary, indeed, is her help to the 
unmarried Yahgan, who has no near relatives, that he is 
forced to join some one more powerful than himself, who, 

^ See sec. 1 6 below. 

2 King and Fitz-Roy, ii. 185 ; J. Weddell, " A Voyage towards the 
South Pole in 1822-24," London, 1825, p. 156. Similar accounts are 
given of many hunting and fishing tribes — e,g,^ Curr, i. 99 (Australian 
tribes) ; R. Schomburgk, '* Reisen in Britisch-Guiana in 1840-44," Leipzig, 
1847, i. 166 (Warraus) ; E. H. Man, " On the Original Inhabitants 
of the Andaman Islands," Jour, of Anthrop. Inst., London, 1883, xii. 
328 (Andaman Islanders) ; Pallas, v. 129 (Ostiaks) ; Maximilian, " Prinz 
zu Wied Neuwied, Reise nach Brasilien," Frankfort-am-M., 1820, ii. 
17 (Botocudos) ; Id, i. 146 (Puris) ; Richardson, '* Arctic Search- 
ing Expedition," London, 185 1, ii. 12 ('Tinne Indians) ; J. Chapman, 
"Travels in the Interior of South Africa," London, 1868, i. 39 (Bamafi- 


in return for his work, will protect him and permit his 
wives to fish for him.^ 

Sec. 7. The Yahgan suitor acquires his bride by per- 
forming certain services for her parents. Her inclinations 
are not consulted ; and, when she has several suitors, she 
is handed over to him whom her father fears most. There 
is no marriage ceremony. If the bridegroom has not a 
canoe of his own, he lives with his wife's parents, and 
works for them until the first child is born. Even after 
that event he gives them presents from time to time, and 
always treats his father-in-law with the greatest deference. 
Until the birth of the first child the marriage is not 
regarded as a permanent bond, and the wife is free to 
change her husband. Marriages between near relations 
are looked on with disfavour. Sometimes, however, a man 
marries mother and daughter. Polygamy is permitted, 
some men having as many as four wives. If husband and 
wife disagree, the former may divorce the latter without 
any special form. Until marriage the conduct of the girls 
is subject to no restraint, and jealousy seems to be un- 
known to them. The husband will not yield his wife 
either to his friends or to strangers ; and the observations 
of voyagers to the contrary appear to be based on the 
actions of men united neither by affection nor by marriage 
to the women whom they offered.^ The Bushman does 
not marry out of his own tribe ; and the only degrees of 
relationship which he recognises as preventing marriage are 

^ M. T. Bridges, trad, par Hyades, Bull, de la Soc d'Anthrop. de Paris, 
1884, ser. iii. t. vii. 180. In Tonga it is customary for a man to choose a 
foster-mother, even while his own mother is alive, in order that he may be 
the better provided with cloth, oil, food, &c. (Mariner, '' Tonga Islands," i. 89, 
167 ; ii. 96 ; in '* Constable's Miscellany," Edinburgh, 1827, vols, xiii., xiv.). 

2 Hyades et Deniker, 239, 377-379 ; Bridges, trad. Hyades, 171-73 ; Bridges 
ap. Westermark, 299, 318. 


those of parent and child, brother and sister. The Bush- 
man suitor asks leave to pay his addresses. He leaves 
some trifling article at the girl's dwelling ; and, if it be not 
returned within a few days, he takes for granted that he is 
accepted. He then makes a hunting party with some of 
his friends, and brings the spoils of the chase to the father 
of the girl. A feast follows, and the suitor's friends make 
small presents to the girl's family. The husband lives 
with his father-in-law for the first two years, hunts for 
him, and always treats him with great respect.^ Among 
the Kubus, the suitor offers a gift to the girl's father. If 
the latter approve of it, he calls his neighbours together, 
and informs them that he has givqn his daughter in 
marriage. One of the company strikes a tree several 
times with a club, proclaiming the man and woman 
husband and wife ; and there follows a feast, of which the 
bridegroom's presents form the chief materials.^ Among 
the Veddahs, the suitor presents the girl's father with a 
gift, such as a pot of honey or a dried iguana. If the 
father have no objections to offer, he calls for his daughter 
who comes bringing with her a thin cord of her own 
twisting. This she ties round the bridegroom's waist, and 
they are man and wife. The Veddahs are constant to 
their wives, and are exceedingly jealous of them. They are 
monogamous and divorce is unknown to them.^ Among 
the Australian natives the wife is " not the relative, but the 

^ Chapman, i. 259, 260 ; cp. Barrow, i. 276. The wife may with the husband's 
permission yield herself to any man (Lichtenstein, ii. 49) ; and her infidelity is re- 
garded as almost of no moment (J. E. Alexander, " An Expedition of Discovery 
into the Interior of Africa," London, 1838, ii. 23. See below sec. 8, note). 

2 H. O. Forbes, ** A Naturalist's Wanderings in the Eastern Archipelago 
from 1878 to 1883," London, 1885, p. 241. 

* Bailey, 291-94. Formerly, the marriage of a man with his younger 
sister was regarded as the proper marriage to make ; while marriage with an 
elder sister or aunt would have been looked upon as incestuous {Id, id,). 



property of her husband." Not infrequently he obtaiSs 
her in exchange for his sisters or for his daughters. /Hrte 
may exchange her or lend her to any man of the class to 
which he himself belongs.^ He has little real affection for 
her ; and yet he is jealous, and will hardly allow her to 
speak to any other man.^ 

Sec. 8. All these peoples have some conception of rights, 
of property.* Among the Yahgans, individual ownership" 
extends only to a man's necessary personal effects. /What 
he makes or kills or finds, — that is his.* So, too, the only 
wealth of the Bushman,^ as of the Fenni,® consists of bows 
and arrows. The Veddahs most prized possessions are their 
bows and their dogs ; ^ and, amongst the Australian natives, 
each tribesman is regarded as the owner of his weapons, 
implements, and ornaments.® He is also held to be the 
owner of his wife.^ The Kubus are said to have no 

^ Curr, i. io6, 107 ; G. F. Angas, ** Savage Lifp and Scenes in Australia and 
New Zealand," London, 1847, i. 93, 94 ; G. Grey, "Journals of Two Expedi- 
tions of Discovery in N.W. and W. Australia, in 1837-39," London, 1841, 
ii. 230; Eyre, ii. 318, 319 ; Wilkes, ii. 195. After a battle the gins not in- 
frequently go over to the victors, even those with young children on their 
backs (T. L. Mitchell, '* Three Expeditions into the Interior of Eastern 
Australia,'* London, 1838, i. 304). * Eyre, ii. 321 ; Curr, i. 106. 

* As to rights of property in land, see sec. 16 below. 

* Hyades et Deniker, 243. The rights of even a child are respected. 
Observe, however, that when a large animal is found dead, the right of the 
finder is limited to that of making the distribution (Bridges, trad. Hyades, I78)< 

* Lichtenstein, ii. 45. 

* Tac. Germ., 46 ; — ** Victui herba, vestitui pelles, cubile humus, solae in 
sagittis opes." ^ Bailey, 286. 

8 Curr, i. 66. Even the wife, although she is her husband's property, is 
allowed to keep as her own any small articles she may acquire. 

* The same conception of the woman's position prevails among the natives 
of the Bihe (Capello and Ivens, " From Benguela to the territory of Yacca," 
London, 1882, i. 112) ; the Puris (Maximilian Prinz zu Wied-Neuwied, 
i. 146) ; the Eskimo near the mouth of the Mackenzie River (E. Petitot, 
** Les Grands Esquimaux," Paris, 1887, p. 104) ; the Indians of British 
Guiana (E. F. im Thurn, ''Among the Indians of Guiana," London, 1883, 


personal property, but ** if one of them on finding a bee- 
infested or dammar-yielding tree, clear the bush around it, 
make one or two hacks in the bark, and repeat a form of 
spell, it is recognised by the others as his possession, which 
will be undisputed." ^ Practices similar to that last men- 
tioned are widely prevalent, and, in general, serve as means, 
not so much of acquiring ^ a right, as of keeping intact a 

p. 223) ; and the Shoshonees (Lewis and Clarke, ii. 164, 165, 416) ; and 
further indications of it are furnished by the fact, that, among many people, 
adultery is regarded as an offence only when committed without the husband's 
permission— ^.^., Ricaras and Sioux (Lewis and Clarke, i. 144) ; Yumas 
(H. H. Bancroft, " The Native Races of the Pacific States of North America," 
London, 1875, i. 514) ; Knisteneaux Indians (A. Mackenzie, " Voyages 
from Montreal ... to the Frozen and Pacific Oceans, in the years 1789 and 
1793," London, 1801, xcvi.) ; cp. Lichtenstein, ii. 48, 49, and Alexander, 
ii. 23, as to the Bushmen ; and Lisiansky, " A Voyage round the World in the 
years 1803-06, London, 1814, p. 82, and Jarves, " History of the Sandwich 
Islands," London, 1843, p. 80, as to the natives of Nukahiva and Hawaii. 
Hyades et Deniker, p. 377, deny that the Yahgan husband condones his wife's 
misconduct) ; and by the practice in use among the Incas (Waitz-Gerland, 
" Anthropologie der Naturvolker," Leipzig, 1859-72, iv. 417), and Basutos 
(E. Casalis, " The Basutos, London, 1861, p. 225), in Northern Queensland 
(C. Lumholtz, ** Among Cannibals," London, 1889, p. 126), and in Mada- 
gascar (Rochon, " Voyage to Madagascar," in Pinkerton's " General Collection 
of . . . Voyages and Travels," London, 1808-14, xiv. 747), of visiting it with 
the penalty appropriate to theft. A similar view seems to prevail among the 
tribes of Central Australia (Spencer and Gillen, p. 99), and to have prevailed 
in Homeric times (A. G. Keller, ** Homeric Society," New York, London, 
and Bombay, 1902, p. 227). See sec. 43 below. 

^ Forbes, " A Naturalist's Wanderings," p. 242. 

2 ** There was a kind of variation on the iapu^ called tapa^ of this nature. 
For instance, if a chief said, * That axe is my head,' the axe became his to all 
intents and purposes." (" Old New Zealand," by a Pakeha Maori, London, 
1863, p. 160, see also pp. 161-63. Cp. also E. Shortland, "Traditions and 
Superstitions of the New Zealanders," London, 1854, p. 91). So, too, the 
finder of a piece of drift wood could tapa it to himself by tying something 
round it, or by giving it a chop with his axe (R. Taylor, '* Te Ika a Maui ; or. 
New Zealand and its Inhabitants," London, 1855, p. 62. Cp. J. Chalmers, 
" Pioneering in New Guinea," London, 1887, p. 186) ; and a canoe found adrift 
was tapa to the finder (E. Dieffenbach, " Travels in New Zealand," London, 
i843i ii. 102). 


right already acquired.^ Thus Livingstone^ says that in 
the country of the Balonda, where artificial hives are 
frequently attached to the trees, " a * piece of medicine ' is 
/ tied round the trunk, and proves sufficient protection 
against thieves. The natives seldom rob each other, for all 
believe that certain medicines can inflict disease and 
death." In Ceram, a man preserves his property, — a 
fruit-tree, for example, — from injury by the use of the 
" mutue." Thus, if he hang the jaw-bone of a boar, — 
"mutue hahua"— somewhere among its branches, he may 
rest assured that whoever breaks the tree or steals its fruit 
will be mangled by one of those animals.^ Again, Krapf * 

* E^.f in the Marquesas (H, Melville, **A Narrative of a Four Months* 
Residence among the Natives of a Valley of the Marquesas Islands," London, 
1846, p. 245) ; in New Zealand (Dieffenbach, ii. 48, lOi) ; and among the 
Muruts of Borneo (H. Ling Roth, **The Natives of Sarawak and British 
North Borneo," London, 1896, i. 419). 

' *' Missionary Travels," p. 285. 

' J. G. F. Riedel, '* De sluik- en kroesharige Rassen tusschen Selebes en 
Papua," S. Gravenhage, 1886, pp. 114, 115. He gives many other instances ; 
see index, s,v, ** Sasi." The punishment is attributed to the action of super- 
natural influences. See also Kohler, "Recht d. Papuas," Zeits f. vergl. 
Rechtsw., xiv. 371, 372, 374 ; as to the inhabitants of Tonga, see Mariner, 
ii. 186, 187 ; and as to Samoans, see G. Turner, " Nineteen Years in 
Polynesia," London, 186 1, pp. 294-96 ; *' Samoa a Hundred Years Ago and 
Long Before," London, 1884, p. 34. As to Polynesia generally, see Waitz- 
Gerland, vi. 343. 

* ** Travels in Eastern Africa," London, i860, p. 145. To tie a "piece of 
/ medicine " to a specific article, or to lay it across a road, or to fasten it to the 

boundary of a field or of a hunting-ground, is to place the article, or the road, 
or the boundary, under the protection of supernatural powers, who will see to 
the punishment of the man who disregards the sacred sign. Thus, Baikie 
(** Narrative of an Exploring Voyage up the Rivers Kw6ra and Binue in 1854," 
London, 1856, p. 279 ; see also Bastian, ** Ein Besuch in San Salvador, die 
Hauptstadt des Konigreichs Congo," Bremen, 1859, pp. 78, 1 11) tells us that 
in Y6ruba ** if there be two entrances to a hut, or two passages to any part of 
a dwelling, one is kept closed by a string being put across it, and some dju-dju 
article hung up over it." In Timor, a prevalent custom is the ** pomali," 
exactly equivalent to the tabu of the Pacific islanders, and equally respected. 
Thus, a palm-branch laid across an open door is more effectual than bolts and 


tells us that a cocoa-nut hanging over the gate of a village 
" is supposed to be effectual in keeping thieves and robbers 
at a distance from the trees and villages, and many 
Wanika suspend a similar ugango before the door of their 
huts ; . . . nobody dares to enter so long as it is not 

Sec. 9. Each of these groups is in contact, at all events^ 
occasionally, with similar and related groups. Towards 
these its attitude is essentially dissimilar from that which 
it assumes towards alien groups. Thus, in Australia, the 
relation between stranger tribes is one of unceasing hostility. 
They practise sorcery against one another, and carry on 

bars (A. R. Wallace, "The Malay Archipelago," London, 1890, pp. 149, 150, 
451). Thomson ("Through Masai Land,** new edition, London, 1887, p. 271) 
says of the Wa-kamasi that, until " hongo " or passage-money is paid, " the 
road is shut " by placing some green twigs across the pathway. To pass over 
that sacred symbol without permission is sufficient to drive the people into 
fits of uncontrollable excitement. Riedel (p. 296) tells us that, in some of the 
Spice Islands, to cross a boundary which is **moli," or tabu, is a cause of 
trouble or even of war ; and, according to C. F. Ph. von Martius ("Von den 
Rechtszustande unter den Ureinwohnem Brasiliens," Munchen, 1832, p. 37), 
the people of Cumana protect their plantations by drawing round them a single 
cotton thread. It is considered a great crime to disregard the limits thus 
marked out ; and it is the universal belief that he who fails to observe them 
will not long survive. In his *' Voyage to the Congo in 1682" (Pinkerton, 
xvi. 238), Merolla informs us that, " the fields of this country being without 
fences, their owners, to preserve their corn, plant about them several rows of 
stakes, which, being bound round with bundles of herbs by the wizards, they 
tell you will kill any such as shall offer either to rob or do them damage." 
This account presents a striking similarity to that of Hislop (quoted by E. B. 
Tylor, "Primitive Culture," third edition, London, 1 891, ii. 164) regarding^ 
the stones which the ryot of Southern India sets up in his fields. He looks 
upon them as the guardians of his crops, and calls them the five Pandfls. 
As to the Land Dyaks of Borneo, see S. St. John, " Life in the Forests of the 
Far East," London, 1862, i. 199 ; as to the New Zealanders, see J. S. Polack, 
** Manners and Customs of the New Zealanders," London, 1840, ii. 70, cp. i. 276. 
In Tahiti, carved images or "tiis" are employed to mark boundaries ; and the 
removal of ancient land-marks is regarded as a heinous offence (Ellis, "Poly- 
nesian Researches," London, 1831, iii. 116). A law ascribed to Numa is in 
these terms : " eum qui terminum exarasset, et ipsum et boves sacros esse " (seer 


warfare by night attacks, in which men and children are 
butchered, while the women are speared and carried ofT;^ on 
the other hand, the members of associated ^ tribes visit and 
intermarry, and decide their differences in fair fight, and 
with little bloodshed.^ So, too, the Yahgans, amongst 
whom, according to Hyades,* the tribe cannot in any 
proper sense be said to exist, regard one another, even in 
their quarrels, with feelings very unlike the intense fear and 
hatred which they entertain towards the men of the other 
Fuegian tribes — the Ona and Alakaluf^ No doubt, it 
has been said of them, that, beyond the family circle, the 
relation of man to man is doubtful, if not hostile.® Still, 
the visitor from another group is always sure of a seat by 
the fire, and a portion of food, although the hut be 

R. V. Ihering, " Vorgeschichte der Indo-Europaer," Leipzig, 1894, p. 263) ; 
and the laws of old Germany severely punished the man who ** removed his 
neighbour's landmark" (W. E. Wilda, "Das Strafrecht der Germanen," Halle, 
1842, p. 925 seg.). It is to be noted that, among the aborigines of 
Brazil, the paj^s take an active part in the settlement of the boundaries of the 
tribal hunting-grounds, performing many magical rites and ceremonies, with 
the usual accompaniments of smoking and drumming. Sometimes baskets, 
rags, and strips of bark are attached to the objects which mark the dividing 
line (C. F. Ph. von Martins, 34, 35). Shortland (p. 83), observes that in New 
Zealand ** the dread of trespassing on any ia/u spot was formerly so powerful, 
that on going to a strange land, ceremonies were 'per formed, in order to make 
it noa, lest, perchance, it might have been previously tapu" 

^ Among the Samoans, a similar practice prevailed (Turner, "Nineteen 
Years in Polynesia," p. 301). 

^ In Australia, every tribe has constant, and, for the most part, friendly 
relations with other tribes. Still, each tribe within the association maintains 
its separate existence (Curr, i. 63). Spencer and Gillen (p. 32), state that, 
among the tribes of Central Australia, there is no such thing as two tribes 
being constantly at enmity. They point out the mistake of speaking of the 
customs of the ** Australian native ; " for customs differ in different tribes (p. 34). 

* Curr, i. 63. 

* ** Ethnographic des Fuegians," Bull, de la Soci^te d'Anthropologie, Paris, 
.Ser. iii., t x. 333. ' Hyades et Deniker, 16, 240. 

' Stirling, in the " South American Missionary Magazine," iv. 11. 


crowded, and the supplies scanty ; ^ and the men of different 
families frequently enter into a bond of friendship, which 
is marked by an exchange of gifts, and by a peculiar 
fashion of painting the face and body.^ So, too, in their 
disputes friends side with friends ; ^ and in Australia, men 
who belong to the same class within the tribe, must make 
common cause when quarrels arise.* Groups friendly or 
related to a murdered Yahgan, join in pursuit of the 
murderer,^ and treat those who shelter him as participants 

^ Hyades et Deniker, 243 ; if he have food with him he must share it. So, 
too, the Wakuafi are hospitable to strangers of their own nation (Krapf, 364) ; 
and, in the Andaman Islands, strangers introduced by mutual friends are 
entertained with the best (Man, 148). Each Andaman family keeps a supply of 
food in excess of its own requirements for its visitors {Id, 328). 

2 Bridges, trad. Hyades, 182. Among the Pehuenches there exists a system 
of friendly association which enters into every relation of life. In times of 
peace, the members visit one another frequently ; in time of war, they bivouac 
together, fight on the same side, and in necessity or peril support one another 
to the death (E. Poppig, " Reise in Chile, Peru, und auf der Amazonenstrome 
wahrend der Jahre," 1827-32 ; Leipzig, 1835, i. 384, 385). Cp. P. F. X. 
Qiarlevoix (** Histoire . . . de la Nouvelle France avec la Journal Historique 
d'un Voyage fait . . . dans I'Am^rique Septentrionale," Paris, 1744, vi. 14), 
who speaks of a similar association among the Iroquois. Williams and 
Calvert ("Figi and the Figians," second edition by Rowe, London, i860, 
i. 45, 46), tell us that in Figi, " instances of persons devoting themselves specially 
to deeds of arms are not uncommon. The manner in which they do this is 
singular, and wears the appearance of a marris^e-contract ; and the two men 
entering into it are spoken of as man and wife to indicate the closeness of their 
military union. By this mutual bond the two men pledge themselves to 
oneness of purpose and eflfort, to stand by each other in every danger, defending 
each other to the death, and, if needful, to die togetljer. In the case of one of 
the parties wishing to become married in the ordinary style to one of the other 
sex, the former contract is duly declared void." Among the Tupis a man was 
not permitted to marry a sister or daughter of the friend with whom he had all 
things in common (J. Lery, " Voyage in Brazil " in De Bry, ** Americae tertia 
pars," Franc, a. M., 1594, c. 16) ; and at Zayla the tie of the "Nazil " (see 
sec. 47 below) can be dissolved only by the formula of triple divorce (R. F. 
Burton, " First Footsteps in East Africa," London, 1856, p. 124). 

' Hyades et Deniker, 241, 374 seq, 

* Spencer and Gillen, p. 344, cp. p. 544, see also Eyre, ii. 224 ; Grey, 
ii. 230 ; Curr, i. 62, 72. * Hyades et Deniker, 241, 374 sgq. 


in his crime ; ^ and in this connection may be noted the 
widely prevalent conception, that the family, the group, 
or even the whole tribe is involved in the guilt of the mem- 
ber.2 Further, among the Yahgans, the Yuracar^s and 
Chiquitos, and the natives of King George's Sound, it is 
the practice to interchange visits, and these visits are made 
the occasion of festivities.* But the visitor must make 

^ Bridges, trad. Hyades, 177. So, according to Waitz-Gerland (iii. 517), 
among the Pehuenches, the robber's relations are implicated in his crime. 
But see Starke, " The Primitive Family," London, 1889, p. 48, according to 
whom it is only ** those who are living in community with the robber who are 
held to be responsible." 

^ See, for example, Scott Nind, ** Description of Natives of King George's 
Sound (Swan River Colony), and adjoining country," Joum. of R.G.S., L 45 ; 
Grey, ii. 239 (Australians) ; Thomson, " The Story of New Zealand," 
I^ndon, 1859, i. 58 ; Shortland, p. 224 (New Zealanders) ; Wilkes, ii. 150 
(Samoans) ; M. Macfie, *' Vancouver Island and British Columbia," London, 
1865, p. 470 (Columbian Indians). Among the Efik tribesmen of Old 
Calabar, " responsibility for debts is not a particular, but a universal, liability 
on the district to which the debtor belongs " (T. L. Hutchinson, " On the Social 
and Domestic Traits of the African Tribes, with a glance at their Superstitions, 
Cannibalism, &c., &c.,*' in the Trans, of Ethn. Soc, N.S., i. 330). Upon this 
sense of corporate responsibility rests the Berber custom which allows a person 
who has been robbed to seize some article belonging to the robber's family, or 
to a man of his village or tribe (A. Hanoteau et A. Letourneux, " La Kabylie 
et les coutumes Kabyles," Paris, 1872-73, iii. 82). Even among civilised 
peoples are to be found traces of similar usages. Thus, ** when Bordeaux 
merchants had wines taken from them by Flemish pirates, they procured 
letters of reprisal against Flemish merchants in England," so that the penalty 
would fall on the right shoulders at last (W. Cunninghame, ** The Growth of 
English Industry and Commerce during the Early and Middle Ages," 
Cambridge, 1890, p. 280; cp. L. Goldschmidt, ''Handbuch des Handel- 
rechts," 3te Aufl., Stuttgart, 1891, i. 121). Krapf (p. 333) tells us that, by 
order of the king of Kilema, thirteen persons were killed because they came 
from the same town as certain traders who had robbed him. See also Capello- 
and Ivens, ii. 242 ; Angas, ii. 171. 

' Sports and entertainments, among the Yahgans (Hyades et Deniker, 
373> 374) » dancing and carousing, among the Yuracar^s and Chiquitos. 
(A. D'Orbigny, "Voyage dans I'Am^rique M^ridionale, 1826- 1833," Paris, 1839, 
iv. 164, 259) ; feasting, among the natives of King George's Sound (Scott 
Nind, 44). As to the natives of Lower California, see Baegert, '* Report of 
. . . Smith. Inst, for 1863," p. 368. 


plain that he comes as a friend. Thus the Yuracar^s 
announce their approach by sound of trumpet ; and the 
Australians, of whom Scott Nind speaks, advance with 
green boughs in their hands, and with fillets of green leaves 
on their heads.^ When food is scarce at home, the Samoan 
visits his friends ; ^ and, among the Andaman islanders, 
" visits are usually followed by an interchange of gifts, the 
host taking the initiative." ^ Towards strangers of their own 
race the Wakuafi act liberally and kindly ;* and, according 
to Catlin,* " every man, woman, or child in Indian com- 
munities is allowed to enter anyone's lodge, and even that 
of the chief of the nation, and eat when they are hungry, 
provided misfortune or necessity have driven them to it. 
Even so can the poorest and most worthless drone of the 
nation. . . . He, however, who thus begs when he is able 
to hunt, pays dear for his meat, for he is stigmatised with 
the disgraceful epithet of a poltroon and a beggar." 

Sec. ID. Is there any trace, it may be asked of the 
existence of commercial relations between the associated 
groups ? We may say at once that there is ample evidence 
of the prevalence of usages from which such relations might 
arise. Thus, the practice of giving and receiving is universal. 
When the Bushman,* or the Kubu,^ or the Veddah,^ thinks 
of marrying a girl, he opens his suit by making a gift to 
her father ; ® and it is by means of a gift that the Yahgan 

1 D'Orbigny, Scott Nind, ubi cit, 

2 Wilkes, ii. 148, 149. ^ Man, 392. * Krapf, 364. 

^ " Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs, and Conditions of the 
American Indians,*' London, 1841, i. 122. ^ Chapman, i. 259, 260. 

^ Forbes, ** A Naturalist's Wanderings,*' 241. ^ Bailey, 291-93. 

^ The Yahgan suitor acquires his bride by performing certain services for her 
parents (Hyades et Deniker, 377-79; Bridges, trad. Hyades, 172). This 
practice, says Westermark (p. 390), who has collected many instances of it, "is 
widely difiiised among the uncivilised races of America, Africa, Asia, and the 
Indian Archipelago." 


cements the bonds of friendship, and buys off the vengeance 
of his victim's kinsmen.^ To the Yahgan, one of the main 
inducements to acquire property is that its possession 
enables him to give. At the same time, he expects to 
receive something in return.^ So, too, Sproat* says that 
** the gaining of property, with a view to its distribution, is 
a ruling motive for the action of the Ahts." But the gift is 
regarded as an investment ; a return is expected ; and he 
who gives most freely acquires rank and reputation.* 
Among the Western Eskimo, according to Simpson,* "a 
free and disinterested gift is totally unknown ; " and, of the 
Andaman islanders, it is said that they " give such objects 
as are desired by another, in the hope of receiving in return 
something for which they have expressed a wish, it being 
tacitly understood that, unless otherwise mentioned before- 

^ Bridges, trad. Hyades, 182, 177. As to the satisfaction made for crime by 
means of payment, see A. H. Post, **Grundriss der Ethnol. Jurisprudenz,*' 
Oldenburg, u. Leipzig, 1895, "• 256 seq, ; W. E. Wilda, 314 seq, ; J. Grimm, 
"Deutsche Rechts-Alterthtimer," Gottingen, 3te Aufl., 1881, pp. 648, 661. 

^ Bridges, trad. Hyades, 179 ; cp. Hyades et Deniker, 243. 

' "Scenes and Studies of Savage Life," London, 1868, pp. 112, 113. 

* W. H. Dall (''Alaska and its Resources," Boston, 1870, p. 150) says of the 
tribes south of the Yukon River, that a man will accumulate his property for 
many years, and then give it all away without expecting a return, in order to 
gain reputation ; and similar statements are made regarding the natives of 
Upper California by Kastromitonow (v. Wrangell, " Staatistische u. Ethno- 
ge<^raphische Nachrichten tiber die Russischen Besitzungen an die Nordwest- 
kUste von Amerika ; '* in '* BeitrSge zur Kentniss d. Russischen Reiches von 
K. C. von Baer u. Gr. von Helmersen," St. Petersburg, 1839, i. 92), and of the 
Western Eskimo (H. Rink, "The Eskimo Tribes," London and Copenhagen, 
1887, pp. 28, 29). J. L. Burckhart (<' Travels in Arabia," London, 1829, p. 7> 
note) observes that the real motive of a Turk in giving presents is either to 
obtain a double return or to gratify his pride. 

^ " Observations on the Western Eskimaux and the Country they inhabit," in 
" Further Papers relating to the recent Arctic Expeditions, presented to both 
Houses of Parliament, January, 1855," London, 1855, p. 926. A similar state- 
ment is made regarding the Thlinkets and Haidas (Kohler, "Rechtsver- 
gleichende Skizzen," " Zeits. f. vergl. Rechtsw.," viiL 86). 


hand, no ' present ' is to be accepted without an equivalent 
being rendered." ^ At Samoa,* among the Kingsmill and 
Marshall islanders,^ the natives of Central Brazil,* and some 
of the Bantu tribes of Eastern Africa,^ a similar under- 
standing prevails ; and Livingstone ^ says of the Chiboque 
that " they are in the habit of making a present, and then 
demanding whatever they choose in return." In Fiji, the 
donor, if anything like equality subsist between him and 
the donee, expects the return of similar gifts or entertain- 
ment ; ^ in Tahiti, and in some parts of New Zealand, 
he specifies the object which he desires in return;* 
and, in Nigeria, the present which a king sends to 
strangers is to be regarded, not as an expression of good- 
will, but as the formal demand for a larger present* It is 
in Africa that this system is found in fullest operation. 
The natives do not sell to the European, but make presents, 
extorting from him all his goods, bit by bit, " until " — to 
quote a singularly worded sentence — "the unhappy man 
finds himself under the necessity of refusing all presents, 
and thus giving birth to serious questions affecting the 
customs and prejudices of the country." ^® 

Sec. II. According to Hyades, the Yahgans of Orange 
Bay have no notion of commerce.^^ Wilkes^* says that, 
at Orange Harbour, the natives received many presents 

1 Man, 340, cp. 94, 389, 392. a wilkes, ii. 127. 

5 Wilkes, V. 89; Kohler, "Recht d. Marschallinsulaner," "Zeits. f. vergl. 
Rechtsw.," xiv. 440. 

* K. von den Steinen, ** Unter den Naturvolkem Zentral- Brazilians," Berlin, 

1894, p. 333- 
^ Kohler, " Das Banturecht in Ostrafrika," ** Zeits. f. vergl. Rechtsw.," xv. 46. 

• " Missionary Travels," 348. ^ Williams and Calvert, i. 42. 

^ Cook and King, " A Voyage of Discovery to the Pacific Ocean in the Years 
1777-80," London, 1784, ii. 73 ; Shortland, p. 199. 
® C. H. Robinson, "Nigeria, Our Latest Protectorate," London, 1900, p. 98. 
^® Capello and Ivens, i. 117. " P. 327. ^ I. 122-25. 


for which they gave their spears, a dog, and some rude 
trinkets ; and he observes that they had little idea of the 
relative value of things. King ^ speaks of barter at Murray 
Narrow, and Darwin ^ says, apparently of Yahgans, that 
they " had a fair idea of barter. I gave one man a large 
nail (a most valuable present) without making any signs 
for a return; but he immediately picked out two fish and 
handed them up on the point of his spear. If my present 
was designed for one canoe, and it fell near another, it was 
invariably given to the right owner." Weddell,^ speaking 
of the natives of St. Francis Bay, makes the following 
statement. " In the early part of our acquaintance, when- 
ever I expressed a desire for any of their small articles, 
they gave me them without any return ; but now they had 
acquired an idea of barter, and, in exchange for any of 
their articles of simple manufacture, they demanded some- 
thing bright, as buttons, &c. ; but bits of our hoops were 
particularly their objects of esteem." He adds that acquaint- 
ance with barter increased the spirit of thieving; — that they 
pilfered from one of his vessels in order to sell the stolen 
articles at the other. Cook* tells us of the Australians 
at Endeavour Bay that " they had no idea of traffic, nor 
could we communicate any to them ; they received the 
things that we gave them, but never appeared to under- 
stand our signs when we required a return. The same 
indifference, which prevented them from buying what we 
had, prevented them also from attempting to steal. . . . 
Many of the things that we had given them we found left 
negligently about in the woods, like the playthings of 
children, which please only while they are new." When 

1 King and Fitz-Roy, i. 444. ^ Id, iii. 241. » Pp. 153, 182. 

* Hawkesworth's " Account of Voyages in the Southern Hemisphere/' 
London, 1773, iii. 634. 


Dampier ^ touched at the north coast of Australia, his men 
clothed some of the natives in the expectation that they in 
return would carry water for them. They could not make 
the natives understand what they wanted, and so carried 
the water themselves ; upon which the natives very fairly 
put off the clothes. According to Le Vaillant,* the 
Hottentots had no notion of commerce at the time of the 
first arrival of Europeans at the Cape. Wallis * found it 
impossible to establish traffic with the natives a little 
northwards of the Straits of Magellan. They seemed 
to be desirous of the things which he showed to them ; but 
they either could not, or would not, understand that he 
required provisions in exchange. Further, it is related of 
the inhabitants of that part of the American continent, at 
which Alonso de Ojeda and Amerigo Vespucci first 
touched, that they had no idea of commerce.* Labillardiere ^ 
says of the Solomon Islanders that, while they were glad 
to receive the presents made to them, it was impossible to 
obtain anything from them. It is to be observed, however, 
that, from refusal to trade, ignorance of trading is not 
necessarily to be inferred ; and there is evidence that not 
only the practice of giving and receiving presents, but that 
of barter, were known to the ancestors of these islanders.® 

Where corroborees take place among the aborigines of 
Victoria, there is on the first day " a distribution of presents. 

1 " A New Voyage Round the World," Loudon, 1703, i. 467. 
2** Voyage dans Tlnterieur de TAfrique dans les Annies 1780-85," Paris, 
1790, ii. 120. ' Hawkesworth, i. 373. 

* Herrera, " The Grand History ... of America," transl. Stevens, London, 
1725, i. 217 ; "A General Collection of Voyages and Discoveries made by the 
Portuguese and the Spaniards during the 15th and i6th Centuries," London, 
1789, p. 258. 

' " Relation du Voyage a la recherche de la P^rouse," Paris, 1797, ii- 264. 

• *' The Discovery of the Solomon Islands by A. de Mendafla in 1568," 
London, 1901 (Hakluyt Society), pp. 113, 117, 265, 284, 337, 349, 3Sh 374- 


and an interchange of such little articles as are peculiar to 
the locality from which they come ; one tribe may be rich 
in wooden spears, another in reed spears or boomerangs, or 
have a fortunate deposit of chinkey-chinkey or crystals of 
kolkebanya (talc)."^ We are told of the Samoans that 
they carry on a sort of trade during the visits which friend 
makes to friend when food is scarce at home, the visitor 
bringing with him for purposes of exchange the staple of 
his district ; ^ and a very similar usage is found among the 
Andaman Islanders.* According to Spencer and Gillen,* 
shell ornaments are traded through the Australian 
continent from tribes on the north coast, who make 
them ; and we shall see ^ that the Kubus and Veddahs 
are not unacquainted with the principles of commerce. 

The evidence which we have been considering seems to 
justify the statement that, in some instances, mercantile 
relations subsist between the related groups, and that, in 
very many instances, there prevails among them a practice 
of giving presents in the expectation of a suitable return 
being made. In some cases there is not merely an expecta- 
tion, — there is a distinct understanding; and, not infre- 
quently, the object desired in return is specified.* 

1 W. E. Stanbridge, " Some Particulars of the General Characteristics, 
Astronomy and Mythology of the Tribes in the Central Part of Victoria, 
Southern Australia," in the "Trans, of Ethno. Soc, N.S.," i. 297. Cp. Short- 
land, p. 198. 2 Wilkes, ii. 148, 149. » Man, 389, 392. 

* Pp. 544, 575 ; cp. Curr, i. 77. See also S. Gason in regard to " The Dieyerie 
Tribe " (in J. D. Woods, " The Native Tribes of South Australia," Adelaide, 
1^79* P* 259) ; and in regard to the Narrinyeri Tribe, see below sec. 35, 
note. ^ See sec. 26 below. 

' It is to be observed that, in soijne cases, conduct, which is explained as due 
to ignorance of commerce, is really to be attributed to some other cause, such 
as fear, dislike, suspicion, or misunderstanding. See, for an example of mis- 
understanding, L. M. D'Albertis, ''New Guinea," London, 1880, ii. 272 ; and 
cp. J. Ross, ** A Voyage of Discovery made in H.M.S. Isabella and Alexander 
for the purpose of Exploring Baffin's Bay," London, 1819, p. 104. 


Sec. 12. Occasionally a temporary union of the separ- 
ate groups is brought about by the requirements of a 
common undertaking. Thus the Bushmen hordes will 
combine to hunt or plunder ; ^ among the Western Eskimo 
men of different settlements will form a boat's crew to 
pursue a common prey, or will join in repelling a common 
enemy; 2 the Yahgans will unite in the pursuit of the 

^ Lichtenstein, iL 49. 

^ J. Simpson, 940; he adds that, "it is only when danger is common that 
they will so unite.*' It is interesting to observe in this connection that, even 
amongst ±e rudest peoples, there exist means of conveying information from 
group to group. Thus Tierra del Fuego derives its name from the numerous 
fires by which the natives signalled to one another (Magellan's Voyage, in 
A. Dalr3m[iple's " Historical Collection of the several Voyages and Discoveries 
in the South Pacific Ocean," London, 1769, p. 27); and lichtenstein (ii. 196, 
cp. W. J. Burchell, "Travels in the Interior of South Africa," London, 1822, 
i. 434 ; ii. 196), tells us of the Bushmen that *' by means of fires on the summits 
of the mountains they will indicate to each other the numbers of a herd or 
flock which they mean to plunder, with the means of defence that the people 
have who are guarding them." Macgillivray (** Narrative of the Voyage of 
H.M.S. Rattlestiake^' London, 1852, ii. 7) says of the Australian natives near 
Cape York, that " the presence of an enemy upon the coast, a wish to com- 
municate with another party at a distance, or the want of assistance, may be 
denoted by making a small fire, which, as soon as it has given out a little 
volume of smoke, is suddenly extinguished. ... If not answered immediately, 
it is repeated ; if still unanswered, a large fire is got up, and allowed to bum 
until an answer is returned." Spencer and Gillen (16 note) are of opinion that, 
among the Central Australians, these smokes convey no more than the actual 
presence of those who make them. Among the Central Califomians (Ban- 
croft, i. 380) and the Snake Indians (J. de Smet, " Voyages aux Montagnes 
Rocheuses," nouvelle edition, Bruxelles et Paris, 1873, p. 30) the intelligence 
of hostile invasion is announced by such signals ; the natives of New Mexico 
use them to summon aid (Bancroft, i. 580) ; and the Apaches have a regular 
system of signalling in the day-time by smoke, and at night by fire-beacons 
(A/, ib, 497). Fire signals are also used in some parts of the South Seas, — 
^.^., at Tanna (Turner, "Nineteen Years in Polynesia,*' p. 326). In 
Nigeria "a few beats of the drum will explain to the people to whom 
he is coming, whether" the European traveller **is to be received as a 
friend or an enemy, whether his party is large or small, and similar details of 
interest" (Robinson, 48) ; and we have like accounts of the Mang-bettou 
(J. Burrows, "The Land of the Pigmies," London, 1898, p. 83), of the 


murderer;^ and the groups of the Arunta, which are 
locally contiguous, frequently meet to perform ceremonies.^ 
Sometimes even unrelated tribes are forced into alliance 
by the pressure of a powerful neighbour.^ 

Sec. 13. The Yahgans have neither kings nor chiefs, 
castes nor classes. Still they recognise the superiority 
that belongs to wisdom or daring. The wizard-doctor 
holds among them a position of influence ; and, in the 
family, the word of an old man is accepted as law.* In 
Australia, the father of the family rules in his own circle ; 
and, while the elders discuss and decide questions of 
importance to the community, and announce their views to 
the assembled tribesmen, they exercise little or no author- 
ity save that of personal influence, each head of a family 
being left free to act as he may think proper.^ Still, each 
member must in a general way comply with the usages of 
his tribe. Were he to persist in disregarding them he 
would suffer death at the hands of his fellow-tribesmen. 
Within the family group of the Veddahs, the authority of 
the headman, who is usually the most energetic of the 
seniors, is limited, in the ordinary case, to regulating the 
distribution of food.® The Kubus have no chiefs ; ^ their 
elders, however, settle disputes, and award punishments.^ 

natives of the White Nile, and in Kaffa (Waitz-Gerland, ii. 164), and of 
some of the Brazilian tribes (C. F. Ph. von Martius, p. 20 ; R. Southey, 
** History of Brazil," London, 1810-19 ; i. 341). 

^ See above, sec. 9. ^ Spencer and Gillen, 14. 

^ The association of the Shoshonees and the Flatheads, mentioned by Lewis 
and Clarke (ii. 162), seems to be a case in point. It may be noted that, 
according to R. Parkinson (** Im Bismark-Archipel," Leipzig, 1887, p. 137), 
tribes, in those islands, living in peace and friendship, assist one another in 
time of war. 

* King and Fitz-Roy, ii. 178 seg, ; Hyades, 327 ; Wilkes, i. 124. 

* Curr, i. 59 ; see Spencer and Gillen, p. 102. 

^ £. Tennant, "Ceylon,'' third edition, London, 1859 ; ii. 440. 

' Globus, xxvi. 44. 8 Forbes, " A Naturalist's Wanderings," 243. 


The Western Eskimo acknowledge the influence of those 
who are skilful and enterprising ; but they do not recognise 
any established control or chieftianship ; ^ and among the 
Snake Indians, there is little social organisation except 
during the hunting and fishing seasons. At those times a 
large number of tribesmen are collected together, and 
" some person, called a chief, usually opens a trade or talk, 
and occasionally gives directions as to the methods to be 
pursued in capturing the fish or game." ^ 

Sec. 14. But, while we may be unable to trace amongst 
these peoples the presence of a permanent tribal authority 
capable of restraining and coercing the separate groups, 
we do find in many of them a force yi^hich compels recogni- 
tion and obedience. Man, so far M he is known to us, 
" is influenced in the highest degree by the wishes, appro- 
bation, and blame of his fellow-men." ^ Thus, so great is 
the desire to obtain a reputation for liberality among the 
tribes south of the Yukon River, that a man will beggar 
himself by giving away the accumulations of many years, 
without looking for a return.* So, too, the Aht is said to 
destroy his property to show his indifference to wealth ; ^ 
while, to show that he is wealthy, the Aru islander will pay 
the debts of his poorer brethren.® Nor is the desire of 
praise more potent as a factor in conduct than the fear of 
disapproval. Spencer and GillenJ in speaking of the 

^ J. Simpson, 940. ^ Schoolcraft, i. 207. ' Darwin, i. 167. 

* Dall, 151. Similar accounts are given of the Western Eskimo 
<Rink, 28, 29), of the Ahts (Sproat, 112, 113), of the Natives of Vancouver's 
Island (Macfie, 429), and of the Upper Californians (Kastromitanow in v. 
Wrangell, i. 92). ^ Bancroft, i. 191. 

« D. H. Kolff, "Voyages of the Dutch Brig of War, Dourga,'' transl. 
G. W. Earl, London, 1840, p. 164. 

^ P. 510; cp. p. II, where it is said that **the Australian native is bound 
hand and foot by custom. What his fathers did before him that he must do, 


custom in accordance with which the mourner cuts and 
hacks himself, and utters loud lamentations, say that 
" there is nothing which a black-fellow is so sensitive to as 
the contempt and ridicule of his fellows to which non- 
compliance with a custom such as this will expose him ; 
the excessive display being due to the fact that it is a 
tribal custom, and as such has a very strong hold upon the 
imagination of a people whose every action is bound and 
limited by custom." The Indians of Guiana are actuated 
" by their dread of adverse public opinion should they act 
contrary to . . . tradition ; " ^ and a similar statement is 
made regarding the Ojibways.^ Among the Dog-rib 
Indians " order is maintained solely by public opinion;'*^ 
and, according to Bridges,* public opinion plays no small 
part in Yahgan social life. Crantz ^ observes that '* nothing 
so effectively restrains a Greenlander from vice as the 
dread of public disgrace ; " and it is to this dread that the 
curious singing contests which he describes owe their 
moral influence. 

Sec. 15. The observance of custom is not infrequently 

. . . any infringement of custom, within certain limitations, is visited with 
sure and often severe punishment." See also p. 15. ^ Im Thurn, 213. 

' Copway, "The Traditional History of the Ojibway Nation," London, 
1850, p. 144. ^ Richardson, ii. 26. 

* Hyades et Deniker, 243. When the Yahgan steals women or arms, he 
tries to hide his theft. Public opinion is satisfied only when the guilty person 
is discovered and punished. The murderer is either slain or treated as an 

* ** The History of Greenland," London, 1820, p. 165. He tells us that 
when a Greenlander thinks himself aggrieved, he challenges the person who 
has committed the oflfensive act to a " singing-combat.*' Each party satirises 
and lampoons the other, and the contest continues until one of them is reduced 
to silence. *' He who has the last word wins the trial, and obtains henceforth 
a reputable name." This practice "serves a higher purpose than mere 
diversion. It is an excellent opportunity for putting immorality to the blush 
and cherishing virtuous principles " (pp. 164, 165). 


secured by the belief that its breach will be attended with 
disastrous consequences. Thus, Curr^ tells us that the 
Australian "black is educated from infancy in the belief 
that departure from the customs of his tribe is inevitably 
followed by one at least of many evils, such as becoming 
grey, ophthalmia, skin eruptions, or skin sickness ; but 
above all, that it exposes the offender to the danger of 
death from sorcery." 

Sec. 16. As to the rights of individuals and groups 
within the tribe in the tribal territory, we find considerable 
diversity of view. It is said of the Veddahs that " they have 
their bounds in the woods among themselves, and one 
company of them is not to shoot, nor gather honey or fruit 
beyond those bounds." ^ The members of an Australian 
tribe exclude all strange tribesmen from the tract of 
country which they occupy in common. At the same 
time, it is an undoubted fact, that, in many tribes, the land 
is divided into portions, each of which is the property of 
a group, or even of a single male.^ Between the Western 
Eskimo and the Indians, their neighbours, there is the 
greatest jealousy with respect to their boundaries. Any 
man of either race found upon the wrong side of the line, 
is liable to be shot at sight. There is, however, a tacit 
understanding that he who kills a deer on the wrong side 
of the boundary, may keep the meat, if he leave the skin at 
the nearest village on that side.* It is said of the Ojibways 
and Sioux that the right of possession in hunting and fish- 
ing grounds is one of their main subjects of dispute ;^ and 
of the Puenches, that if they meet within a district, which 

' I. 54, 55. 

* Knox, " Historical Relations of the Island of Ceylon," London, 1681, p. 63. 
' Grey, ii. 232-36 ; Eyre, ii. 297 ; Spencer and Gillen, 7 ; Curr, i. 61-65. 

* Dall, 144. '^ Copway, 21, 55. 


they have been taught by tradition to regard as their own, 
one of another tribe, war is the immediate result.^ In 
Brazil, each tribe has its hunting grounds marked by well- 
defined boundaries ; and a disregard of these is one of the 
most frequent causes of hostilities.^ And since a popula- 
tion, which derives its main support from the buffalo or the 
rein-deer, must follow their migrations, a sub-division of 
the soil would be useless in practice. Accordingly, the 
Indians, who occupy the country north of Great Slave 
Lake, use the land as a possession common to all the 
tribesmen.* The Abipones do not recognise exclusive 
rights of hunting or fishing.* Among the Wood Crees, 
however, and other tribes related to them, each family has 
its own hunting-ground.* 

On the whole, the evidence goes to show that, to what- 
ever extent the views of one tribe may differ from those of 
another regarding the rights of individuals or of groups of 
individuals in the tribal land, they are agreed in this, — 
that the tribe has exclusive rights in it as against the 

Sec. 17. The boundaries of the tribal territory are, in 
general, clearly defined. The forest or the river, the lake, 
the mountain, or the water-shed supplies a landmark.* 

^ Poppig, i. 387. Similarly the Bedouin asserts an immemorial and inalien- 
able right to the lands upon which his fathers fed their flocks (R. F. Burton, 
** Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to £1-Medinah and Meccah," London, 
1855, iii. 86. See also Riedel, 297, as to the inhabitants of Timor-Iaut). 

* C. F. Ph. von Martius, 35 ; Southey, i. 118. Schoolcraft (i. 227) observes 
that ** it has been noticed that all buffalo countries are the war-grounds of 
several tribes.'* See also Riedel, 298, as to the natives of Timor-laut. 

3 Rae, '* Joum. of the Anthrop. Inst./' xii. 274 ; cp. Richardson, i. 351. 

* Dobritzhoflfer, ii. no. ^ Rae, ubisupr, cit, 

^ See Dall, 144 ; C. F. Ph. von Martius, 35 ; Dargun, '* Ursprung u. Entwick- 
lungs- Gesch. d. Eigenthums;" "Zeits. f. vergl. Rechtsw.," v. 51; Riedel, 408, 
et passim; Spencer and Gillen, 8. 



But, even at a very early period, artificial boundaries were 
recognised. Sometimes one people was divided from 
another by a vast stretch of uncultivated land. Thus 
Caesar^ says of the German tribes, "civitatibus maxima 
laus est quam latissime circum se vastatis finibus solitu- 
dines habere. Hoc proprium virtutis existimant, expulsos 
agris finitimos cedere neque quemquam prope audere con« 
sistere ; simul hoc se fore tutiores arbitrantur, repentina& 
incursionis timore sublato.'* Sometimes a line of separa- 
tion was marked by some object, such as an upright stone. 
Thus Ammianus Marcellinus ^ speaks of a district " ubi 
terminales lapides Alamannorum et Burgundiorum con- 
finia distinguebant." In many cases, these boundaries were 
considered to be under the protection of supernatural 
powers. Dulaure ^ observes that it was only natural that 
the border-land should be regarded as holy ground. It 
was a waste — wild, solitary, and mysterious. Within it lay 
lakes, mountains, and rivers, — objects of veneration and 
worship, — and the burial places of those who had fallen 
fighting in its defence. Its very aspect was awe inspiring ; 
and it was associated with all men reverence most and 
hold most dear. Whatever truth there may be in this 
explanation, it is evident, on the mere statement of it, that 
it is based upon a set of very special facts, and that, 
accordingly, it can have only a very limited application. 
This limitation is recognised by Lord Avebury,* in an 

1 De Bell. Gall. vi. 23 ; cp. iv. 3. 

® xviii. 2, 15. As to the stelae used in Egypt to mark boundaries, see 
Maspero, " The Dawn of Civilisation ; Egypt and Chaldea ; '* transl. 
M*Clure, third edition, London, 1897, p. 329 ; R. v. Ihering, ** Vorgeschichte 
d. Indoeuropaer," p. 263. 

' Des Cultes qui ont pr^c^e et am^n^ Tidolatrie, Paris, 1805, p. no seq, 

* "Origin of Civilisation, and the Primitive Condition of Man," sixth, 
edition, London, p. 318. 


interesting passage in which he undertakes to show how, 
in some cases, boundary stones, by being identified with 
the upright stones, which symboh'sed Hermes or Mercury, 
came to be regarded as sacred. We have already noted ^ 
that, among the aborigines of Brazil, the paj^s take an 
active part in the settlement of the boundaries of the tribal 
hunting grounds, performing many magical rites and cere- 
monies, with the usual accompaniments of smoking and 
■drumming ; and that sometimes baskets, rags, and strips 
of bark are attached to the objects which mark the divid- 
ing line. These, we take it, are " djii-dju articles," — " pieces 
of medicine," — by the use of which the boundary is made 
sacred ; placed, that is to say, under the protection of 
supernatural powers, who will see to the punishment of any 
stranger who may venture to cross it. 

The Stranger, 

Sec. 1 8. The evidence of language illustrates the inten- 
sity of the dislike with which the savage regards the stranger. 
Thus, the fact that many national names mean nothing 
more than "men," "people," seems to indicate that those who 
employ them regard the rest of mankind as scarcely human.^ 

^ See above, sec. 8, note. 

2 Burton gives a number of examples taken from South and Central America 
("The Captivity of Hans Stade of Hesse in a.d. 1547- 1555, among the Wild 
Tribes of Eastern Brazil," London, 1874 (Hakluyt Society), Ixx., Ixxi. ; see 
also im Thum, 158) ; and further instances are supplied by certain North 
American Tribes (Bancroft, i. 94, 474) ; the natives of Fernando Po (Hans 
Stade, loc, ciL) ; the Eskimo (Bancroft, i. 140 ; Crantz, i. 123) ; the Narrinyeri 
of South Australia (G. Taplin, in J. D. Wood's " The Native Tribes of South 
Australia," p. i) ; the Ainu of Japan (J. Batchelor, "The Ainu of Japan," 
London, 1892, p. 16) ; some of the islanders of the Nicobar group (Waitz- 
Gerland, v. (Th. i.) 81) ; the Namaquas (Kohler, "Das Recht d. Hottentot- 


The Tupis of Brazil call everyone who is not of their race 
by a term which signifies "barbarian," "savage," or 
" stranger " ; ^ and with this mode of speech Burton * 
compares the use of the " Hebrew Goyi (Gentile), the Hindu 
Mlenchla (mixed or impure breed), the Greek j3apl3apo^, 
the Latin Barbarus,^ and the Chinese Fan Kwei (foreign 

The tribes of the Congo* and upper Beniie,^ and the 
Abipones® regard every stranger as an enemy; and, among 
the Australian tribes, strangers look upon one another with 
the deadliest hatred.^ The heathen Gallas murder every 
stranger who is not under the protection of their chief ; ® 
and it was said of the heathen Russians that it was death 

ten;'* "Zeits. f. vergl. Rechtsw.," xv. 337); and other Australian tribes 
(L. Fison and A. W. Howitt, "Kamilaroi and Kurnai," Melbourne, 
18S0, pp. 187, 275). As to the Kamchadales, see G. N. Steller " Besch- 
reibung von d. Lande Kamtschatka," Frankfurt u. Leipzig, 1774, p. 3. 
According to R. H. Codrington ("The Melanesians," Oxford, 1891, p. 21) ; 
the natives in some of the Melanesian groups, when asked who they were, 
answered that they were men — that is to say, living men, not ghosts or 
demons. They took their visitors to be ghosts or spirits belonging to the sea. 
Cp. Man's (loi) statement r^;arding the Andaman Islanders. 

^ Hans Stade, Ixx. ; cp. C. F. Ph. von Martius, 7. So, too, among the 
Chippeways, the word signifying ** stranger " is used in the sense of " enemy " 
(W. H. Keating, " Narrative of an Expedition to the Source of the St. Peter's 
River ... in the year 1823," London, 1825, i. 336). See below, sec 41, note. 

2 Hans Stade, Ixx. ' Cp. Grimm, D. R.-A., 396. 

^ Bastian, " Ein Besuch in San Salvador," 62. 

** A. F. Mockler-Ferryman, ** Up the Niger," London, 1892, p. 85. 

^ Dobritzhoffer, i. 63. 

' Curr, i. 64, 84. " There is no such thing as one tribe being in a constant, 
state of enmity with another so far as these central tribes are concerned " 
(Spencer and Gillen, 32). There is a great diversity of custom among Australian 
tribes ; while at the same time they have much in common (Id, p. 34). 

8 Krapf, 82 : as to the Somali, see G. A. Haggenmacher, ** Reise in Somali- 
Lande," 1874 (** Erganzungshaft, No. 47 zu Petermann's Geogr. Mitth."), 
Gotha, 1876, pp. 30, 31. The foreigner at Rome, unless under the protection 
of a patron, was beyond the pale of the law (Mommsen, " History of Rome," 
transl. Dickson, London, 1867, i. 165). 


for a stranger to enter their country.^ The Yahgan dares 
not go where he is a stranger or where he has no friends ; ^ 
and Livingstone* makes a statement to the same effect 
with reg'ard to the Manyuema. So, too, a western Eskimo 
will not undertake a distant journey among strangers 
unless in the company of those who can assure him of 
a welcome.* 

The stranger is always feared ; sometimes because he is 
thought to have a more powerful fetish, and, in that case^ 
he may be killed or perhaps sacrificed to bring blessings on 
the land ; ^ and sometimes because he has the reputation of 
a sorcerer,^ or of being endowed with supernatural powers/ 
Thus it is said of the Australian natives that "sorcery 
makes them fear and hate every man not of their own 
coterie, suspicious of every man not of their own tribe ; it 
tends to keep them in small communities, and is the great 
bar to social progress." ® Maine ^ observes of the stranger 

1 C. M. Frahn, " Ibn Foszlan's u. Anderer Araber Berichte tiber die 
Russen alterer Zeit," St. Petersburg, 1823, p. 51. " No Greek," says Cunning- 
hame ("An Essay on Western Civilisation in its Economic Aspects " (Ancient 
Times), Cambridge, 1898 ; p. 75 ; cp. B. W. Leist, ** Civilistische Studien auf 
d. Gebiete dogmatischer Analyse," Jena, 1877, iv. 70 se^,)^ ** was ever at home 
in another Greek city than his own ; he was liable to be sold in a city in which 
he had no rights and no status." ^ Bridges, trad. Hyades, 180. 

8 "The Last Journals," London, 1874, ii. 70. 

* J. Simpson, 926. On the authority of Boas (6th Amer. Report of the 
Bureau of Ethnology, Washington) Kohler states that among the Innuit the 
stranger must engage in a fight with the tribesmen. If he be vanquished he 
may be killed; if successful, he is treated as a guest (''Die Rechte d. 
Urvolker Nordamerikas," *' Zeit. f. vergl. Rechtsw.," xii. 363. It may be' noted 
that, in New Guinea, a stranger from a hostile tribe can visit in safety villages 
where the clan of his totem is strong (A. C. Haddon, ** Head- Hunters, Blacky 
White, and Brown," London, 1901, pp. 103, 135). 

' Bastian, '* Ein Besuch in San Salvador," 104. 

^ Curr, i. 85. ^ Hyades et Deniker, 16. ^ ^^jy^ j ^q 

* "Ancient Law," fourth edition, London, 1870, p. 125 ; cp. W. W. Hunter^ 
"Orissa," Liondon, 1872, i. 175; Cadamosto, in "A General Collection of 
Voyages and Discoveries made by the Portuguese and the Spaniards during 


that, if his aspect be strange, and his language unintelligible, 
if his culture be of a lower, or at least of an unfamiliar type, 
he is likely to be regarded as something less than human 
and more than brutish, as a monster, perhaps as a demon. 

Sec. 19. The stranger is everywhere looked upon as a 
being without rights. Thus, according to old German law, 
he had no claim to participate in the peace or protection 
enjoyed by the district in which he found himself ; nor had 
he a wergild.^ To this conception is to be attributed the 
horror with which the ancients regarded exile,^ and the 
misery of the outlaw's position.^ There was no place for 
the man who had lost or broken the ties which bound him 
to his family and his tribe. He must either perish of 
want, or find his death at the hands of his enemies.^ In 
Sumatra the outlawed spendthrift is sent forth as a deer to 
the woods, no longer to enjoy the privileges of society ; ^ 
and, in old Germany, the criminal, expelled from the com- 
panionship of his fellow-men, took his place with the beasts 
of the forest.® It may be noted that the position of the 

the 15th and i6th centuries," London, 1789, p. 58 ; J. Barbot, **A Description 
of the Coasts of North and South Guinea," in ChurchhilPs "Collection of 
Voyages and Travels," London, 1707-47, v. 79. See sec. 26 below. 

1 Grimm, D. R.-A., 397 ; K. Weinhold, " Altnordisches Leben," Berlin, 
1856, p. 472. But see Wilda, 673, and the authorities cited in Goldschmidt, 
p. 120. 

2 R. V. Ihering, ** Geist d. R. R.," 228; O. Schrader, " Handelsgeschichte 
und Warenkunde," Jena, 1886, p. 7. 

^ Language supplies us with clear indications of the impression which the lot ' 
of the stranger and outcast made upon the mind of primitive man. Thus, the 
German **elend," the English "wretch," and a whole series of terms, which 
originally signified "the alien" or "the outcast," have come to mean "the 
miserable " or " the unfortunate " (Schrader, loc, cit,^ 7 ; cp. Grimm, D. 
R.-A., 396 J^^.). 

^ Bridges, trad. Hyades, 177 ; Hyades et Deniker, 241 (Yahgans) ; Curr, 
i. 62 ; " Waitz-Gerland,'* vi. 794 (Natives of Australia). ^ Marsden, 207. 

•The middle Latin "wargus," — ue, "expulsus," is also the name of the 
wolf) and thus the two conceptions, — that of the wild beast to be hunted 



homo sacer of Roman law } was very similar to that occu- 
pied by the outcast of the Vedas.^ According to the old 
law of Iceland, the outlaw lost not only public but family 
rights. His property was confiscated, his house was burnt 
down, a price was set on his head, and whoever met him 
might kill him — was, indeed, by duty bound so to do. His 
wife, his children, and his relations were forbidden to com- 
municate with him, or afford to him the slightest assistance.^ 
The same view is indicated by the usage, prevalent 
among many peoples, of punishing the thief only when he 
steals from a compatriot. Thus, it has been said that in 
Gaul '* latrocinia nullam habent infamiam quae extra fines 
cujusque civitatis fiunt."* Among the gipsies of Tran- 
sylvania, a man may steal from the " white people " with 
impunity ; but, if he steal from a fellow-tribesman, he is 
treated as a criminal.* This distinction is recognised by 
the Fijians,® the Batta,^ the Eskimo at Kotzebue Sound ^ 
and near Cape Bathurst,* the people of Ratak,^^ the Mandin- 
goes,^^ the Puenches," and the Albanians ;^ and, in Kundma, 

down, and that of the man to be treated as a wild beast, — ^are intimately 
associated (Wilda, 280; Grimm, D. R.-A., 733). 

1 R. von Ihering, " Geist d. R. R.," i. 281 ; B. W. Leist, •* Graeco-Italische 
Rechts-Gesch.," Jena, 1884, p. 319. 

* H. Zimmer, ** Altindisches Leben," Beriin, 1879, P- ^85. 

» Wilda, 281-296. 4 Osar, " De Bell. Gall.," vi. 22. 

' Post, **Grundriss,'* i. 449, note i, citing as his authority, Von Wlislocki, 
'* Von Wanderden Zigeunervolke," 1890, p. 78. • Williams and Calvert, i. 127. 

' W. Marsden, " The History of Sumatra," London, 1783, pp. 299, 300. 

^ Seemann, ** Narrative of the Voyage of H.M.S. Herald during the years 
1^5-51/' London, 1853, ii. 65 ; see, however, J. Simpson, 926. 

* Richardson, i. 352. 

^* O. V. Kotzebue, ** A Voyage of Discovery into the South Sea and Behrings 
Straits in the years 1815-1818," London, 1821, ii. 73. 

^ R. Cailli^, *< Travels through Central Africa to Timbuctoo," London, 1830, 
i. 353. ^ Poppig, i. 391. 

" A. Bastian, *' Die Rechtsverhaltnisse bei Verschiedenen Volkern d. Erde," 
Berlin, 1872, p. 228. 


while pilfering is despised, the robbery of tribal enemies is 
held in honour.^ 

A similar conception seems to have found expression in 
early customs relating to shipwrecked persons. Formerly, 
the natives of Fiji used to kill and devour even those of 
their own race who were cast ashore.^ The Yahgans kill 
shipwrecked crews, partly because they mistrust all strangers, 
and partly from a desire to possess themselves of their 
goods without trouble or discussion ; ^ and, in its most 
rigorous form, the old law of wreck, which prevailed in 
many parts of Europe and elsewhere throughout the 
Middle Ages, not only effected the forfeiture of the goods 
of the castaway, but attached his person.* 

Sec. 20. The conception that the stranger is an enemy 
is generally held most strongly by that portion of a popula- 
tion which lies farthest from its borders. Thus, while those 
of the Yahgans, who have no personal knowledge of the 
Ona, regard them with fear and hatred, those who, are their 
immediate neighbours intermarry with them; and from 

^ W. Munzinger, *' Ostafrikanische Studien," Schaffhausen, 1S64, p. 384. On 
the Congo petty theft is regarded as worthy of a slave, open robbery as worthy 
of a great man (Waitz-Gerland, ii. 218 ; cp. G. W. Dasent, "The Story of 
Burnt Njal, ..." E^nburgh, 1861, i. xxxiv.) ; and the Ossetes, a hospitable 
race, do not look upon robbery as a crime ; *' what a man finds on the highroad 
is God's gift " (Von Haxthausen, "Transcaucasia," London, 1854, pp. 398, 411. 

^ Williams and Calvert, i. 210 ; J. E. Erskine, ** Journal of a Cruise among 
the Islands of the Western Pacific," London, 1853, p. 220, cp. p. 229. 

* Bridges, trad. Hyades, 180. 

* W. Roscher, " System d. Volkswirthschaft," 7te Aufl., Stuttgart, 1899, 
iii. 139, 141 ; cp. Hume, " Commentaries on the Law of Scotland respecting 
Crimes," fourth edition, Edinburgh, 1844, i. 485. See also W. Pappafava, 
" Uber die Bttrgerliche Rechtsstellung d. Fremden," ubersetz von Leesberg, 
Pola, 1884, p. 16. Among the Arabs, the wreck fell to the Emir, while the 
common people stripped the seamen and passengers (D'Arvieux, ** Travels in 
Arabia, the Desert," second edition, London, 1723, pp. 191 seq,, cp. pp. 6Sseq,). 
In Borneo, wrecks and their crews belong to the chief of the district where the 
disaster takes place (St. John, ii. 292). As to the New Zealander, see Polack, ii. 


this intercourse has resulted a reciprocal knowledge of 
two languages, and a mutual assimilation of manners and 
modes of life.^ So, too, Spencer and Gillen ^ speak of the 
Arunta, and the tribes in contact with them, as influencing 
one another in matters of usage. 



Sec. 21. In the preceding pages we have noted those 
characteristics of primitive man which appear to be relevant 
to the subject of our inquiry. Save that he is possessed of 
weapons and implements, he follows, in the main, the 
methods of the lower animals in procuring his daily food. 
In other words, he lives upon what he can kill or find, and 
does nothing to replace what he has consumed. It is 
obvious that, by pursuing such a mode of life, even a few per- 

68. When a merchant died in a foreign land, it not infrequently happened that 
the king took all his property (Marco Polo, tsansl. and ed. by Col. Henry Yule, 
second edition, London, 1875, ^* ^^^ (Hormuz) ; H. Yule, "Cathay and the 
Way Thither," London, 1866; (Hakluyt Society), ii. 292 (Central Asia)). 
In Cathay, however, the deceased's brother, if with him, or a comrade calling 
himself his brother, received his goods {Id, ib. See also " India in the 
Fifteenth Century . . . Account of the Journey of H. di Santo Stefano," 
London, 1857 (Hakluyt Society), p. 7) ; and a similar rule prevailed in Lesser 
Armenia (Yule, ** Cathay," ii. 292, note), and in the case of a deceased hadjy 
(J. L. Burckhart, "Travels in Arabia,'* p. 290). Ibn Batuta ("Voyages . . . 
par C. Defr^meny et B. R. Sanguinetti," Paris, 1853-58, iy. 421) observes that, at 
Melli, in the Soudan, the successors of a deceased traveller obtained his property. 
They were not always so fortunate in Europe during the Middle Ages ; see 
Goldschmidt, p. 121. 

* Hyades et Deniker, 15 ; Humboldt ("Personal Narrative of Travels to the 
Equinoctial Regions of the New Continent during the years 1799-1804," transl. 
Williams, London, 18 14, v. 270) observes of the American tribes between 
the Equator and the eighth degree of north latitude that their mutual mistrust 
is greatly intensified by the fact that they are broken up into little bands, each 
speaking its own language, which appears to be radically distinct from those, 
spoken by its neighbours. ^ P» 306. 


sons would speedily exhaust the resources of any one spot ; 
and so we find that a population of rude hunters or fisher- 
men scatters itself over a wide area in small family-groups. 
The family-group varies in size and composition. It 
consists generally of one or two families. The men protect 
the women and children, and hunt for their support. The 
women procure food not only for themselves and their little 
ones, but for their masters ; and thus, by relieving them of 
the necessity of providing for the wants of the moment, 
enable them to follow the game in its migrations, and to 
employ, in pursuing it, methods which yield no immediate 
result This association of the sexes tends to become a 
permanent association. Were it called into existence only 
or even mainly by the cravings of passing appetite, it would, 
in all likelihood, be dissolved so soon as they were gratified. 
It is brought about rather by the constant pressure of a 
common need, — the need of help in the struggle for life ; 
and it is just because this struggle is unceasing that the 
formation of alliances more or less permanent is essential 
to the survival of those engaged in it. The benefits derived 
from this union of forces are not confined to the men and 
women concerned, but extend to their children. It assures 
to the spouses the means of subsistence, to the offspring a 
measure of parental care. It need hardly be said that the 
relations of the members of the group inter se are not 
those of free persons, conscious of a common aim and 
seeking to realise it by common action. In the majority 
of the instances which we have considered, the woman is 
obtained in return for services rendered or in exchange for 
presents. Her inclinations are not consulted, and she is 
regarded and treated as a general drudge, owned by the 
man, just as he owns his weapons, his dogs, and his 


that certain Europeans were unable to establish a traffic 
with certain savages. It may well be that refusal to trade 
is due, not to ignorance of trading, but to fear or suspicion 
or misunderstanding ; and, besides, a savage may be ready 
enough to trade with one of his own tribe, while he will 
decline to hold communication of any kind whatsoever 
with an unknown stranger. 

Sec. 25. The association of groups forms for its mem- 
bers the world of possible existence, and in it the stranger 
has neither part nor place. It is not robbery to strip him 
of his goods, nor is it murder to kill him, for he is outside 
of the sphere within which alone rights are recognised and 
enforced. He is looked upon as a mortal enemy, whose 
life is a constant menace to the well-being of the com- 
munity ; andy accordingly, it is a public duty, incumbent 
upon each and all, to hunt him down and slay him like a 
beast of prey. 

This attitude of exclusiveness cannot, however, be per- 
manently maintained except by a society which is wholly 
self-sufficing and wholly unprogressive. For so soon as 
men fail to find in the association to which they belong the 
satisfaction of their desires and the supply of their wants, 
they are compelled to go beyond it, and to enter into 
relations of some sort with the surrounding populations. 
To take all and give nothing is the line of action which 
naturally enough commends itself to the savage in his 
dealings with strangers. Still, a course of violence has its 
inconveniences ; it is uncertain in its results, it is danger- 
ous in itself, and it involves dangerous consequences ; 
and, accordingly, many primitive peoples resort to a 
practice by means of which they can obtain, without the 
exercise of force, what they require from those who are 
strangers to them, and, therefore, their enemies. 


The Silent Trade. 

Sec. 26. Every reader of Scott will remember the use 
which he makes in " Kenilworth " of the legend of Way- 
land Smith. The smith, according to tradition, dwelt in 
former times in the midst of a heap of rude stones at the 
foot of White Horse Hill in Berkshire. No one ever saw 
him, but his services were easily obtainable by anyone who 
required a horse to be shod. It sufficed to leave it among 
the stones with a piece of money placed on one of them. 
After the lapse of a reasonable time, the horse was found 
shod, and the money gone.^ Traces of this silent trade are 

* Wayland Smith, ** A Dissertation on a Tradition of the Middle Ages," 
from the French of G. B. Depping and Francisque Michel, with additions by 
S. W. Singer, London, 1847, xxxv. A similar story regarding a legendary 
smith near Osnaburgh is still current in Lower Saxony (/</. ib, xliv.). The 
authors (p. Ixviii.), quote a passage of the Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius, 
iv. 761, regarding Hephaistos, which is in striking correspondence with the 
English legend : — 'Bv r% Aiirdpq, Kal ^rpoyy^Xri . . . Soicei 6 *^0a(0Tos 
SiarpipeiP* dV 6 koX irvpbs Pp6fAov dKo^effdai Kal ffxov a^oSpdv, rb Si iraKaibv 
iXiycTo, t6v fiovXdfievov dpybv ciSvipov iTi<f>ip€iv Kal riiv aOpiov iXdbma 
\afipd»€iv fj ^i<l>os fj et rt AXXo ifdeXe KoratrKevdiraif KarapaXdm-a fiurOdv, 
They tell us also that some of the German traditions place the smith's work- 
shop in the Caucasus, — a country celebrated for the armour wrought by its 
people ; and they say that " there is in these mountains an isolated community, 
consisting of about 1200 families, who excel in the fabrication of arms ; they 
are called CouveUkts, They defend their territory against intruding strangers, 



to be found in every quarter of the globe. In its simplest 
form, it is a transaction by way of exchange between 
persons who not only do not address, but do not see, one 
another. Thus, Ibn Batuta^ informs us that he was told in 
Bolghar of a land of darkness, at a distance of forty days' 
journey, where, when the travellers have arrived, each of 
them lays down at a certain spot the wares which he has 
brought with him, and then retires. Next day he returns 
and finds placed opposite to his goods, sables, ermines, and 
other furs. If satisfied with what he finds, he takes it 
away. If not, he leaves it, and the inhabitants of the 
country add something more to it. Sometimes, however, 
the natives take back their goods, and leave those of the 
merchants. The latter do not know whether those with 
whom they deal are genii or men, for they never see them. 
Bakuwi ^ and Kazwini * give a precisely similar account of 
the commerce between the inhabitants of Bolghar and 
tribes living on the banks of the Bielo Osero,* Abulfeda,^ 

and only sell the products of their manufacture at a village situated at the 
extremity of their valley. . . . It is possible that the celebrity of these 
armourers had penetrated in the Middle Ages even into Europe, and that it 
gave rise to tales which may have been confounded with those the Scandi- 
navians made regarding Weyland.'* We shall see that a connection such as is 
here suggested between a tribe which traffics only on its borders, and a legend 
which tells of a trade between persons unseen by one another, has a special 
interest in relation to the matter in hand. ^ I. 401. 

^ "Notices et Extraits des Manuscrits de la Biblioth^ue du Roi . . . 
Academie royale des Inscriptions et Belles- Lettres," Paris, 1789, ii. 543. 
• Quoted by Frahn, " Ibn Foszlan," 210. * See Frahn, loc, ciUy 205 seq, 
^ Transl. by Reiske in BUsching's " Magasin f. die neue Historic u. 
Geographie," Hamburg, 1771, v. 359, thus: — ** In Russorum Septentrione 
sunt illae gentes, quae per absentiam suam cum peregrinis mercantur. 
Quod d fieri narrat aliquis, qui eo iter instituit. Ait, eos esse finiti- 
mos litori maris septentrionalis. Quando itaque catervae itineratorum 
pervenerint ad ipsorum limites, tum subsistere, donee indigenae resciscant 
Dein mercatorem suam quemque mercem signo notato exponere in loco 
emtionis et venditionis noto atque destinato, Mercatoribus porro digressis 
ad diversoria sua, accedere illam gentem, et ponere . . . mustelarum 


of a tribe on the shores of the Arctic Ocean, and Heber- 
stein/ of tribes in the neighbourhood of the River Obi ; 
while, according to Paulus Jovius,* the Lapps traded, " yet 
so that the flye the syght and ccompagnie of all merchantes. 
. . . They bargayne with simple fayth with absent and 
unknowen men." Massudi^ says that this method of 
exchange was practised in the remotest parts of Khorasan, 
and by merchants from Segelmessa in trading with a tribe 
which lived on the farther bank of a great river ; Bakuwi * 
speaks of it as in use by the inhabitants of the Belad al 
Tibri, a country about three months' journey from Segel- 
messa ; and it was well known to the Arabs engaged in the 
salt trade with the blacks of the Gambia.^ The same story 
is told upon the authority of Arab traders of tribes 
on the Niger,* and in Guinea,^ and of a nation near 
Wangara.® In the instance last mentioned, the invisible 

Scythicarum pelles et vulpium et alia similia, eaque omnia relinquere, et domum 
suam discedere. Turn redire mercetores, et eum quidem, cui placeat permutatio 
merdum, sumere Scythicas illas merces ; cui vero non placeat, eum relinquere 
suas merces, donee tandem content! uterque discedant et dirimantur." 

^ " Notes upon Russia : being a translation of the earliest account of that 
country, . . ." 1852, London, 1851-52 (Hakluyt Society), ii. 40. 

2 lb,, ii. 255. 

* ** Les Prairies d*Or," par Barbier de Maynard et Pavet de Courteille, 
Paris, 1861-67, iv. 92, 93. 

^ "Notices et Extraits," ii. 394. He adds that the merchants announce 
their arrival and departure by beat of drum. 

* Barbot, ** Churchhill's Voyages," v. 79. He says that " this way of trad- 
ing lasts nine days successively, that they may have the more time to adjust the 
prices of the goods, in case the first tender of gold is not accepted of by 
the Moors.** See also R. Jobson in Purchas, ** His Pilgrims,** London, 1625, 
ii* 1573) ^^^ & similar account at p. 872. 

^ W. Winterbottom, ** An Account of the Native Africans in the neighbour- 
hood of Sierra Leone, . . .'* Ix)ndon, 1803, i. 177 ; T. Shaw, "Travels or 
Observations relating to Barbary,*' in Pinkerton, xv. 467. 

' J. Windhus, ** A Journey to Mequinez,*' in Pinkerton, xv. 422. 

* G. F. Lyon, " A Narrative of Travels in Northern Africa, in the years 
1818-20,** Liondon, 182 1, p. 149. 


traders " are by many supposed to be devils, who are very 
fond of red cloth, the favourite article of exchange/* The 
merchants of Morocco carried on trade by this method at a 
fixed point on the borders between their own country and 
that of the Blacks ; ^ and Cadamosto ^ tells us that the 
salt trade between the negro merchants of Melli and blacks 
who lived near " a certain water/' — probably the Niger, — 
was similarly conducted. A like mode of traffic was 
employed in the clove trade in some of the islands of the 
Indian Ocean ;* and the Mambari told Livingstone's men, 
as they were approaching the sea-coast near Loanda, that, 
in trading with the white men, " the ivory is left on the 
shore in the evening, and next morning the seller finds a 
quantity of goods placed there in its stead/' * According 
to Philostratus,^ Apollonius found, at a place on the confines 
of Ethiopia and Egypt, gold and flax and ivory with many 
spices piled in heaps in a place where four ways met ; and 
the biographer adds that this custom survived in his own 
day, and was practised by Ethiopian and Egyptian mer- 
chants in exchanging their wares. This method of trading 
is said to be employed by the Kubus of Sumatra,® and by 
the inhabitants of Buru, Ceram, and the largest island of 

^ G. Host, << Nachrichten von Morokos u. Fez," Kopenhagen, 1781, p. 279. 
J. Graberg von Hemso ("Das Sultanat Mogh'rib ul Aks^" Stuttgart u. Tubingen, 
1833, P* 103) makes the somewhat surprising statement that, if both parties are 
satisfied with the bargain, " so vereinen sich Mauren und Neger und reisen 
vierzehn Tage lang miteinander." 

2 P. 57. 

' Kazwini, ap. J. Gildemeister, " Scriptorum Arabum de rebus Indids loci 
et opuscula,*' Bonnse, 1838, Fasc. i. 202. 
" * "Missionary Travels," 384. 

««Apoll. Vit.,"vi. 2. 

• Forbes, ** A Naturalist's Wanderings," 235. See Mohnike, ** Banka und 
Palembang," Mtinster, 1874, P- 196. 


the Am Archipelago.^ Hardcastle^ says of two shy- 
mountain tribes of Guatemala that " they exchange dogs 
and a species of very sharp red pepper by leaving them on 
the top of the mountain and going to the spot in turn ;'* 
and, in regard to the Akka in the Upper Welle^istrict of 
the Belgian Congo, Burrows^ writes as follows. — "On 
returning from a day*s hunting the Pigmy carefully wraps 
up several small pieces of meat in grass or leaves, betakes 
himself to the nearest banana plantation, and having 
selected the bunches of bananas he requires, shins up the 
tree, cuts down the bananas selected, and in payment 
affixes one of the small packets of meat to the stem by a 
little wooden skewer." Again, we are told of Ceylon that 
** it was originally uninhabited by man, only demons, genii, 
and dragons dwelt there. Nevertheless merchants of other 
countries trafficked with them. When the season for 
traffic came the genii and demons appeared not, but set 
forward their precious commodities marked with the exact 
price ; if these suited the merchants, they paid the price and 
took the goods." * It cannot be doubted that Fa Hian is 
here referring to the Veddahs, of whom it is said that. 

^ Riedel, pp. 15, 128, 271. This practice has fallen into disuse at Bum and 
Ceram, but it is employed in dealing with the aborigines of Kola and Kobroor^ 
—districts in the largest of the Aru islands. According to Riedel's account, 
the foreign merchants from Temate and elsewhere lay down their goods in an 
appointed place, sound a gong, and retire. Then the shy natives bring their 
wares, and having placed them opposite the merchants' goods, sound the gong 
in their turn, and retire. The foreigners return, and, if satisfied with the 
native wares, take them away, leaving their own goods behind. The Temate 
merchants call this transaction "potage tagali vuru," — going to savages in 
order to barter,— in contrast to "potage tagali damaroi,"— barter in the 
ordinary fisahion in the presence of both parties. 

2 "Historical Magazine and Notes and Queries," Boston, 1857-60, vL 153. 

8 « The Land of the Pigmies," p. 188. 

* " Pilgrimage of Fa Hian," from the French edition of the Foe Koui Ki of 
Remusat, Klaproth, and Landresse, Calcutta, 1848, p. 332. 


think the gold enough, they take it and go their way ; but 
if it does not seem to them sufficient, they go aboard ship 
once more and wait patiently. Then the others approach 
and add to their gold till the Carthagenians are content. 
Neither party deals unfairly by the other." Very similar 
accounts are given of the natives near Cape Blanco,^ of the 
Chukchi in their dealings with the Eskimo of St. Lawrence 
Island ^ and near Kotzebue Sound,^ of the North German 
merchants in their early trading with the inhabitants of 
Livonia,* of the Abyssinians in their intercourse with the 
tribes to the southward,^ and of the merchants of Ceylon 

^ Claude Jannequin, " Voyage de Lybia au royaume de Senega, le long du 
Niger,** Paris, 1643, p. 44. 

* A. Bastian, " Geographische u. Ethnologische Bilder," Jena, 1873, p. 341 ; 
G. F. MUller (" Sammlung Russischer Geschichte," St. Peterburg, 1732-64, 
iii. 6), in describing a Russian voyage of the year 1646 A.D., says that the 
voyagers being afraid to trust themselves among the Chukchi, traded with 
them in the manner described above. * O. von Kotzebue, i. 228. 

* J. Falke, " Die Geschichte d. deutschen Handels," Leipzig, 1859, i. 277. 

* Cosmas, "Christian Topography,*' London, 1897 (Hakluyt Society), 
pp. 52, 53. He tells us that the King of the Abyssinians sent messengers 
every other year to the inhabitants of Sasu to bargain for gold. The mes- 
sengers were accompanied by many traders, — ^upwards of five hundred in 
number, — bound on the same errand as themselves. When they reached their 
destination they formed an encampment, which they fenced round with a 
great hedge of thorns. On the top of these thorns they laid their wares. The 
natives brought gold in nuggets, and if one of them saw an article which 
pleased him he laid one or two of the nuggets upon it. The bargaining then 
proceeded in the manner described by Herodotus. Sasu lay in the south* 
eastern part of the Somali peninsula, near the coast, and only 5^ to the north 
of the equator (see M*Crindle's notes to " Cosmas," pp. 50 and 63). Ritter 
(Die Erdkunde, 2te Aufi., Berlin, 1 848, Th. xiv. 400) places it near Zanzibar. 
According to Heeren {** Historical Researches into the Politics, Intercourse, 
and Trade of the Carthagenians, Ethiopians, and Egyptians,*' Oxford, 1832, 
!• 33o)f it was situated on the coast between Babelmandeb and Cape Guarda-. 
fui ; and, according to Yule (** Cathay,** i. clxxxi, note), towards the centre 
of the continent, and south-west from Abyssinia. No doubt Cosmas speaks of 
it as not far from the ocean, but he supposed that the ocean cut across Afiica 
somewhere about the equator (Id, id, cp. ** Cosmas,** p. 65, and Dr. Glaser's 
explanation, p. 63, note ^). 


when trafficking with the Seres.^ It is said of the natives 
of the southern end of Timor, that they seldom exchange 
words with those with whom they trade. When the 
prows arrive off the coast, the merchants land on the 
beach the articles they have for barter in small quanti- 
ties at a time. The natives immediately come down 
with the produce they have for sale, and place it 
opposite the goods from the prows, pointing to the 
articles or description of articles they want to obtain 
in exchange. The trader then makes an offer, generally 
very small at first, which he increases by degrees. If 
he hesitate a moment about adding more to it, the 
native accepts it as sufficient, snatches it up, and darts 
off with it into the jungle, leaving his own goods. 
If he consider it too little, he seizes up his own 
property, and flies off with it in equal haste, never 
returning a second time to the same person.^ A very 

^ Pliny, ** H. N." vi. 24. He describes the people as having fair hair and 
blue eyes ; and in Lassen's opinion (** Indische Alterthumskunde,** Leipzig, 
1858, iii. 86), this description applies, if Chinese accounts are to be credited, 
to the Usun, a people of inner Asia. See also Humboldt, " Asie Centrale," 
Paris, 1843, i. 393 ; Yule, ** Cathay," i., clvii. It is somewhat remarkable 
that traders from Ceylon should give this account of the Seres' mode of 
exchange without mentioning that there were tribes within their own country 
which practised a very similar method (see above, sec. 26). See also J. W. 
M*Crindle, " The Commerce and Navigation of the Erythraean Sea : being a 
translation of the * Periplus Maris Erythrsei,' . . .'* Calcutta, 1879, cap* 65, 
where an annual feir held on the confines of ** Thlnai " is described. It was 
attended by the Sesatai, with whom trading was carried on by methods some- 
what resembling those of the silent trade. 

2 J. H. Moore, "Short Account of Timor, &c.,*' in Appdx. to "Notices of 
the Indian Archipelago," Singapore, L837, p. 8. G. W. Earl ("Papuans," 
London, 1853, p. 182) says that the more general method is for the traders to 
remain on board their prows, which are anchored close to the land, and push 
their goods on shore in a small canoe, to which a line is attached for the 
purpose of hauling it back when the goods have been removed, and the articles 
given in exchange have been deposited in their stead. Hans Stade (p. 88) 
tells us that the natives of Brazil traded with the Portuguese in a somewhat 


similar account is given of the method of trading practised 
by the Makuas in the neighbourhood of Mozambique.^ In 
Fernando Po, a line is drawn upon the sand between the 
trading parties. Yams, &c., are laid on one side of the line, 
and beads or tobacco or whatever it may be on the other. 
If the Booby be satisfied with the trader's articles, he steps 
across the line and takes them, leaving the trader to take 
his yams.2 Smith ^ says that a similar custom exists on 
the banks of the River Niger, and his statement is borne 
out by that of Ibn-al-WardL* The latter, in speaking of 
tribes near that river, tells us that the merchants, ort arriv- 
ing at the spot where the trade takes place, drew a line. 
On the one side of it the natives laid down their gold, and 
on the other side the merchants set out their wares. Both 
parties withdrew and did not return until the next morn- 
ing. If the merchants were content with the amount of 
gold offered, they took it away ; but if they delayed too 
long, the natives took up their gold, burned the merchants' 
goods, and killed all who opposed them. 

Sec. 28. In some cases, the traffic is carried on through 

similar fashion. Two or three of the natives " arrive in a canoe and deliver 
the goods to them at the greatest possible distance. Then they declare what 
they want in return, which is given to them by the Portuguese. But whilst 
the two are near the ship, a number of full canoes keep in the offing to look 
on, and when the trading is completed, the savages oftentimes approach along- 
side, and skirmish with the Portuguese, and shoot arrows at them, after which 
they again paddle away.*' 

* M. Thomans, " Reise-und Lebensbeschreibung,'* Augsburg, 1788, p. 119. 
He says that they understand neither Portuguese nor the language of the 
district. They deposit their ivory before a merchant's house. He comes out 
and la3rs down what he is ready to give for it If the Makua does not take 
the goods, it is a sign that he desires more. Accordingly the merchant must 
add something, and the Makua, as soon as he is satisfied, takes the goods, and 
runs off as fast as if he had stolen them. 

2 J. Smith, *' Trade and Travels in the Gulph of Guinea," London, 1851, 
p, 203, 204. • /of., p. 204. * Notices et Extraits, ii. 36. 


a middle-man.^ Thus, Lander ^ says that, on halting at a 
town on the lower Niger in order to purchase yams, he 
was brought to the canoes by the townsmen. They were 
armed, as were his own men, and had among them an old 
woman who appeared to be a person of consequence. She 
directed the yams to be placed in separate bundles, and 
the owner to retire to a short distance. The purchaser 
selected a bundle, and placed beside it what he considered 
to be the equivalent in cloth, flints, &c. The old woman, 
if she considered the equivalent sufficient, gave it to the 
owner of the bundle, which was taken by the purchaser. 
If she thought it insufficient, she allowed the purchaser an 
opportunity of adding something. If the purchaser did 
not add anything, she directed the owner to remove his 
goods, and to leave what had been offered for them. All 
this was done by means of signs, not a word passing 
between the parties. The Abb^ Grosier^ says of the 
natives of Hai-nan,* that twice a-year they exposed in an 
appointed place gold and other articles. A deputy was 
sent by them to the frontiers to examine the commodities 
of the Chinese, "whose principal traders repaired to the 
place of exchange . . . ; and after the Chinese wares were 
delivered, they put into their hands with the greatest 
fidelity what they had agreed for." Speaking of the 
Aleuts, Dall ^ says that they " never transact business with 
each other personally, but always through a third person. 
. . . Whoever wishes to sell anything, sends it by this 

^ See below, sec. 35. 

^ "Journal of an Expedition to Explore the Course and Tennination of the 
Niger,'* London, 1832, iii. 161-63. 

' " A General Description of China," transl. from the French, London, 1788, 
p. 108. 

* /.^., The Les, of whom an account is given by R. C. Henry, Ling-nam, 
London, 1886. ^ P. 394, 


agent into another house (yourt) particularly if strangers 
are present The agent, on coming into the house, says 
* Here is the taydk ' (saleable object), without mentioning 
the owner. The buyer looks at the object, asks what is 
wanted in return, keeps the article, and sends as much as 
he likes of the article required in return. The agent takes 
this to the seller, and if he is satisfied, the bargain is con- 
cluded ; if not, he proposes a new exchange, or an additional 
quantity of tobacco or other ware, to boot If the buyer 
does not agree he returns the article, and some one else 
makes an offer. They never bid over one another, and, 
however long the barter may last, the buyer and seller 
never know each other s names. This custom of buying and 
selling among the Aleuts is of great age, and has been pre- 
served without change." Anyone who wishes to trade with 
the Puelches, goes straight to the cacique, to whom he 
presents himself without speaking. The cacique, after 
some words of greeting, inquires what present has been 
brought for him, and the trader tells him. He is lodged by 
the cacique, and is welcomed by the royal wives and 
children, who beg for small presents, and these he must 
give. The cacique informs his subjects by sound of 
trumpet that a merchant has arrived. They come and 
inspect his wares, and having agreed on the number of 
cattle to be given in exchange, carry off the goods, so that 
the merchant gives up his property without seeing any one 
of his debtors. When he wishes to depart, a trumpet .is 
sounded, and an order given that payment is to be made. 
Each purchaser brings the animals which he has agreed 
to give, and provides men to drive them to the 

1 Frezier, " Relation du Voyage de la Mer du Sud, 17 12-14," Amsterdam^ 
1717, i. 128, , 


Sec. 29. Lastly, there are instances in which a religious 
element enters into the practice. Thus, in writing of the 
influence of the fetish religions on the West African, 
Miss Kingsley ^ says that, when walking along a bush path, 
far from human habitation, "you" will "notice a little 
cleared space by the side of the path ; it is neatly laid with 
plantain leaves, and on it are various little articles for sale 
— leaf tobacco, a few yams, and so on — and beside each 
article are so many stones, beans, or cowries, which indicate 
the price of each article ; and you will see either sitting in 
the middle of the things, or swinging by a piece of tie-tie 
from a branch above, Egba, or a relation of his — the market 
god — who will visit with death any theft from that shop, or 
any cheating in price given, or any taking away of sums 
left by previous customers." Again, we are told by Theo- 
phrastus ^ that frankincense and myrrh were brought from 
all quarters to the temple of the sun, — the most holy place 
of the Sabaeans, — and were guarded there by armed Arabs. 
Each owner set out his heap with a tablet above it on which 
were stated the quantity and the price. The merchants who 
came to buy laid down the price in place of these wares. 
Then came the priest and took one-third part of the price 

^ "African Religion and Law," in the National Review y 1897, p. 134. 

^ Hist. Plant., ix. 4 ; see also Pliny, H. N., xii. 33 ; Cosmas (pp. 51, 63, 
note ^) tells us that there was a trade between Barbaria, — a part of the Somali 
Peninsula, lying towards the Indian Ocean, — and the Homerites, — f.^., the 
Sabeeans (see A. H. Keane, " The Gold of Ophir," London, 1901, p. 72). To 
the south of Barbaria lay the land of Sasu, and there the silent trade was 
practised (see above, sec. 27). Accordingly, it seems not unlikely that the 
Sabseans had some knowledge of this mode of traffic, derived from their deal- 
ings with African tribes. If so, it may be as Sigismund (" Die Aromata in 
ihrer Bedeutung fUr Religion, Sitten, Gebraiiche, Handel, u. Geographic d. 
Alterthums," Leipzig, 1884, p. 159) suggests, that Theophrastus, relying on 
the statements of merchants who wished to conceal the name of the country 
with which they traded (see Keane, p. 129), has transplanted an African 
form of trade to Arabian soil. 


for the god ; and what was left remained in safety until 
the sellers came and took it. 


The Primitive Market 

"Sec. 30. Between the primitive commercial methods, 
which we have been considering, and the usages of the 
primitive market, there is, in many cases, a striking similar- 
ity. Sometimes the business of the market is transacted 
without a word being spoken. It was in silence that the 
Indian women exchanged their wares in some of the Mexi- 
can markets. The would-be seller held out the articles, of 
which she wished to dispose, to the customer. The latter, 
if she thought that they suited her, took them in her hand, 
and, by making it appear that they were too few or too 
small, induced the seller to add something more. Thus 
they haggled with one another until the customer was satis- 
fied ; and, in that case, she took away what was offered and 
left her own wares in exchange. But, if the seller refused 
to give more, the purchaser took her goods elsewhere.^ 

^ J, de Torquemada, " Monarchia Indiana,** Madrid, 1723, xiv. 23. In 
this connection we may quote Wilkes* (iii. 300-01) description of the m&rket at 
Somu-Somu, in the Fiji group. It "is held on a certain day in the square, 
where each deposits in a large heap what goods and wares he may have. Any- 
one may then go and select from it what he wishes, and carry it away to his 
own heap ; the other then has the privilege of going to the heap of the former 
and selecting what he considers to be an equivalent. This is all conducted 
without noise or confusion. If any disagreement takes place, the chief is there 
to settle it ; but this is said rarely to happen.'* We may also note a form of 
trading which Burckhart (Arabia, 191) describes as prevailing at Mecca. 
" Dealers when bargaining in the presence of others from whom they wish to 
conceal their business, join their right hands under cover of the gown or sleeve of 
one of the parties ; by touching the different joints of the fingers they note the 
numerals, and thus silently conclude their bargain.** The same practice pre- 
vailed at Calicut ("The Travels of Varthema,** London, 1863 (Hakluyt Society), 
p. 108), and Goa (Pyrard de Laval, " Voyage to the East Indies, ..." Lon- 


Very frequently those feelings of mistrust and suspicion, 
which form one of the most salient features of the silent 
trade, are found to be prevalent. Thus Simpson ^ tells us 
that *' the conduct of the Point Barrow people in their inter- 
course with those of the Mackenzie, or rather Demarcation 
Point, seems to be very wary, as if they constantly keep in 
mind that they were the weaker party, and in the country 
of strangers. They describe themselves as taking tip a 
position opposite the place of barter on a small island to 
which they can retreat on any alarm, and cautiously 
advance from it making signs of friendship. They say that 
great distrust was formerly manifested on both sides by the 
way in which goods were snatched and concealed when a 
bargain was made ; but in later years more women go, and 
they have dancing and amusements, though they never 
remain long enough to sleep there." The same suspicious 
friendliness appears to exist at the fair at Wairuku, in the 
Sandwich Islands. According to Ellis' ^ account, the 
natives from the southern part of the island ranged their 
goods on the south bank of a ravine, while those from the 
northern part ranged their goods on the north bank. 
" From bank to bank the traders shouted to each other and 
arranged the preliminaries of their bargains. From them 
the articles were taken down to " a " rock in the midst of 
the stream. . . . Here they were examined by the parties 

don, 1887-90 (Hakluyt Society), ii. 178), among the Somali (Haggenmacher, 
37), and at Pegu (Caesar Frederick, in Kerr's ** Collection of Voyages," 
Edinburgh, 181 2, vii. 198}, and in many other places. (In the notes to Var- 
thema and Pyrard de Laval, udi cit^ the practice is said to exist in many parts 
of India (Tavemier, Pt. ii., Bk. ii., c. xi.), at the market of Baso in Abyssinia 
(Beke, " Letters on the Commerce and Politics of Abyssinia," p. 19), and in 
Tartary (Hue's "Travels," ch. v.) ; and in explanation of it, reference is made 
to Tylor, " Primitive Culture," i. 246). 
1 P. 936. 2 «« Polyn. Researches," iv, 325. 


immediately concerned in the presence of the " king's " col- 
lectors, who stood on each side of the rock, and were the 
general arbiters in the event of any dispute arising. To 
them was committed the preservation of good order during 
the fair, and they, of course, received a suitable remunera- 
tion from the different parties/' 

Sec. 31. We have seen that it was, in general, at a spot 
within the border-land between two or more tribes, that the 
silent trade, in its simplest form, at all events, was carried 
on ; and, in very many cases, it was at just such a spot 
that the primitive market was held.^ It was the interest of 
those who frequented it to treat one another as friends so 
long as it lasted ; and it seems only natural that those 
places, where such a friendly intercourse was repeated 
season after season, should, in course of time, become 
impressed with the character of neutrality. In general, 
those who attend old-established and thriving markets 
have little cause of apprehending danger to life or pro- 
perty. Thus, the large fairs at different points on the 
lower Niger are regarded as neutral ground, whatever wars 

^ In Britbh New Guinea " women from different villages or districts meet at 
appointed places, usually at the boundary between two tribes, and there barter 
their specialties for commodities from other localities. The bartering is done 
by women only, but they are accompanied by a few armed men, who, however, 
do not go amongst the market women but stand a little way off. The men 
bring a drum with them which is beaten at the opening and close of the 
market" (Haddon, p. 269). It may be noted that the most important of the 
Italian fairs was held on the boundary which separated the Etruscan from the 
Sabine lands, — at Soracte, in the grove of Feronia (Mommsen, i. 203). 
Cunninghame ("The Growth of English Industry, , . ." p. 76) observes that, 
even when each village was hostile to every other, "the advantages of trade 
were so clearly felt that the boundary place between two or more townships 
came to be recognised as a neutral territory where men might occasionally 
meet for their mutual benefit, if not on friendly terms, at least without hostility. 
The boundary stone ¥ras the predecessor of the market cross, and the neutral 
area round it the market-place." 


may be in the land ; ^ and at the markets on the Congo, 
usually held at a spot equidistant from several villages, the 
natives meet without fear of violence.^ So, too, at the 
great market at Prairie du Chien, hostile tribesmen were 
obliged to abstain from all unfriendly acts;^ and similar 
accounts are given of the markets of Berbera * and Mogelo,^ 
and of those among the Kabyles.*' 

Sec. 32. We have already seen^ that there are many 
instances in which the border-land is considered to be holy 
ground ; and it appears to follow that the neutrality of a 
market held within it will be secured not only by the 
interest, which those who frequent it have in attracting 
commerce, but by their firm conviction that, by breaking 
the market-peace, they will incur the divine displeasure in 
the form of disaster or disease or death.^ We know that 
markets, held on the boundaries between the territories of 
certain Greek States, were under the protection of deol 
ayopatot ; ^ and that Hermes-Mercurius was the guardian 

^ W. Allen and T. R. H. Thomson, "Narrative of Expedition sent to the 
River Niger in 1841," London, 1848, i. 398. 

2 Bastian, *' Ein Besuch in Salvador," 116. 

' Carver, " Travels through the Interior Parts of North America in the 
years 1766-68," London, 1778, p. 99 

* Haggenmacher, 37 ; see also Burton, " First Footsteps," 409. 

' Munzinger, O. S., 519. * Hamoteau et Letourneaux, ii. 81. 

' See above, sec. 1 7. 

^ In much the same way self-interest combined with religion seems to have 
made the Red Pipe Stone Quarry, on the ridge between St. Peter's River and 
the Missouri, neutral ground. The necessity of procuring the red stone of 
which the natives made their pipes ** introduced a certain law of nations by 
which the banks of the creek are sacred " (Lewis and Clarke, i. 66) ; and 
Catlin (ii. 167; cp. i. 31, ii. 160) observes that the spot was "a neutral 
ground under the sanction of the vengeance of the Great Spirit." Cp. Carver, 
p. 99. See Mommsen and Cunninghame as cited above (p. 56, note) ; and 
Goldschmidt, p. 24. See also G. Grote, **A History of Greece," fourth 
edition, London, 1872, iii. 294, and note *, as to the place held by commerce 
at the great festivals. 

® Schrader, Handelsgesehichte u. Warenkunde, 35. 


of merchants.^ In West Africa we find a market-god 
who punishes the thief and the cheat ; ^ and we are in- 
formed by Caesar that the Gauls worshipped Mercury, — 
worshipped a god, that is to say, possessing attributes 
similar to those of Mercury.^ 

Sec. 33. We have seen that the spot upon which the 
market was held was regarded as neutral, and, in some 
cases, as sacred. Security of life and property is not, 
however, a privilege attached only to some special locality ; 
it is frequently enjoyed by persons while on their way to 
trade or while engaged in trading. Thus Livingstone,* in 
speaking of the markets upon the River Lualaba, says that 
" when men of the district are at war, the women take their 
goods to market and are never molested ; " and Thomson ^ 
observes that though the Masai and Wa-kikuyu "are 
eternally at war to the knife with each other, there is 
a compact between them not to molest the women-folk 
of either party. Hence the curious spectacle is exhibited 
of Masai women wending their way with impunity to a 
Kikuyu village, while their relatives are probably engaged 
in a deadly conflict close at hand." Among the Rtfis, the 
market, with the roads leading to it, is regarded as safe 
from the exercise of private vengeance ; ^ and, among the 
Batta, ali hostilities are suspended on the occasion of their 
markets. "Each man, who possesses one, carries his 
musket with a green bough in the muzzle as a token of 

^ Id, ib. 107 ; the reason being, according to Lubbock (p. 303. See above, 
sec. 17), that merchants transacted their business on the border-land, where his 
symbols stood. * See above, sec. 29. 

^ " Deum maxime Mercurium colunt, hujus sunt plurima simulacra, hunc 
omnium inventorem artium ferunt, hunc viarum et itinerum ducem, hunc ad 
qudestus pecuniae mercaturasque habere vim maximam arbitrantur " ('* De Bell. 
Gall.," vi. 17). See Schrader, " Handelsgeschichte u. Warenkunde," 108- 1 10. 

* " Last Journals," ii. 56. ^ Pp. 177, 178 ; cp. p. 93. 

® B. Meakin, ** The Moors," London, 1902, p. 402. 


peace, and afterwards when he comes to the spot, follow- 
ing the example of the director or manager of the fair, 
discharges the loading into a mound of earth, in which, 
before his departure, he searches for his ball." ^ Again, it 
is said of the tribes of British Guiana that each has some 
peculiar manufacture. Its members, from time to time, 
visit other tribes, which are often hostile, for the purpose of 
exchanging the products of their own labour for such as 
are produced by the peoples visited, and they are allowed 
to pass unmolested through the enemy's country .^ 

Sec. 34. Sometimes this neutrality takes the form of a 
truce, which is ended so soon as the barter is completed. 
This practice is known on the Mosquito Coast* In the 
Sagas of the Norse Kings,* we are told that, when the 
voyagers came to Biarmaland, — the coasts of the White 
Sea, — they went to the market town ; and, when the fair 
was over, " they went out of the Vina river, and then the 
truce with the country people was also at an end." The 
natives of Brazil lay aside their weapons while transacting 
with one another ; and, when the trading is done, seize 
them again at one and the same moment ; — the fact that 
the trade is over being indicated by the frequent repetition 
of certain words.^ So, too, Polack^ says of the New 
Zealanders that tribesmen at war will respect a tfuce, and 
will, while it lasts, trade with one another, — sometimes even 

^ Marsden, 308. ^ Im Thurn, 271. ' Bancroft, i. 723. 

* Laing and Anderson, "The Heimskringla, or the Sagas of the Norse 
Kings," from the Icelandic of Snorri Sturlason, London, 1889, iii. 92. 

'^ C. F. Ph. V. Martius, 44 ; cp. Stade, 88 ; and the curious story told by Angas 
(ii. 61, 62 ; cp. Curr, i. 78). He says that, during the course of a fight between 
the tribes of Waikato and the inhabitants of Taranaki, a vessel arrived on the 
coast. The combatants at once arranged a truce, and engaged in trading with 
the stranger until his departure, when they at once resumed hostilities. 

« " New Zealand, being a Narrative of Travels and Adventures," London, 
1838, ii. 313. 


an envoy. And so it may be that, in some cases at any 
rate, the inviolability of the ambassador was originally the 
privilege of the middle-man.^ 



Sec. 36. An eminent writer^ on economics explains 
the curious practice of the silent trade by the analogy 

plain that this mode of trading is not connected with the silent trade. See 
below, sec. 37. E. Crawley ("The Mystic Rose, a Study of Primitive Mar- 
riage," London, 1902, pp. 252, 257, 263, 391) explains the usage of ngia- 
ngiampe by the custom of tabu — an explanation which he also applies to such 
tribal institutions as hospitality, blood-brotherhood, &c. (p. 239). It is with 
the effects rather than with the origins of such institutions that we are at present 
concerned. See below, sec. 43. 

^ Among the Basutos the person of the messenger is sacred (Casalis, 224) ; 
and, according to Curr (i. 149), " every tribe in Australia has its messenger, 
whose life, while he is in performance of his duties, is held sacred by the 
jieighbouring tribes." Among the Arunta, he must carry his emblem of ofEce, 
— the churinga, — a sacred staff (Spencer and Gillen, 141). The insignia of 
ambassadors are respected in Polynesia (Cook and King, ii. 64, 66, 69; 
Vincendon-Dumoulin et C. Desgraz, "lies Marquises ou Noukahiva," Paris, 
1843, p. 256), in Guinea (Waitz-Gerland, ii. 164), and among the Kaffir peoples 
{Id, ib. 399). It is otherwise in New Zealand unless the envoy be related 
to the tribe to which he is sent (Polack, ii. 20). Among the Brazilian 
■tribes foreign messengers, even if they have been received as guests, may 
experience bad treatment, especially if they are bringers of evil tidings (C. F. 
Ph. von Martius, 47). Whether, in former times, ambassadors were regarded 
by the northern tribes of North America as inviolable is a question regarding 
which authorities differ (see Waitz-Gerland, iii. 154). It may be noted that 
the Mexicans looked upon the person of the envoy as sacred (Herrera, ii. 248) ; 
and that in Tezcuco the killing of a messenger was a just cause of war {Id* 
ib, iii. 317). 

* Roscher, iii. 140. He discusses the practice, but his observations are 
very brief, and are, we venture to think, based upon insufficient evidence. See 
also M. Kulischer, "Der Handel auf den primativen Culturstufen," "Zeits. f. 
Volkerpsychologie u. Sprachwissenschaft," Berlin, 1878, x. yjZseq.; C. Koehne, 
"Markt- Kaufmanns- und Handelsrecht in primativen Culturverhaltnissen," 
"Zeits. f. vergl. Rechtswissenschaft," xi. 196; K. Andree, "Geographie d, 
Welthandels," 2te Aufl., Stuttgart, 1877 ; and Ch. Letoumeau, " L'Evolution 
du Commerce," Paris, 1897. 


of the modern merchant who finds himself in a country, 
with the language of which he is unacquainted. Such an 
one is forced to conduct his business by means of signs, and 
yet he is seldom cheated. Cosmas ^ attributes the adoption 
of the method by the Abyssinian traders to the fact that 
they did not understand the speech of those with whom 
they were dealing, and that interpreters were hard to be 
found ; and Lander ^ observes that " it must have arisen 
either from fear of quarrelling or from not understanding 
each other's language, which is difficult to suppose." This, 
at all events, seems to be plain, — that the facts that traders 
can buy and sell by means of signs, and that they use 
signs in dealing with those of whose language they are 
ignorant, do not afford an adequate explanation of those 
numerous and important instances in which they not only 
do not address one another, but are careful to keep out of 
one another's sight. 

It is right to point out that, in far the larger number of 
reported cases, one of the parties represents a relatively 
high, the other a relatively low, type of culture. For 
example, we find on the one side the Arab, or the Malay, 
or the Chinaman, and on the other the negro, or the 
Kubu, or the Veddah. And it has been suggested ' that 
the usage in question is a consequence of the practice 
adopted by traders and travellers belonging to civilised 
peoples, in opening commercial relations with savages who 
shun their approach, — the practice, namely, of placing such 
articles as rude men value near their usual resorts, in the 
hope of overcoming their fears, and inducing them to make a 
return. Such an explanation, however, does not account for 
this form of traffic where the parties to it are equally uncivil- 

1 P. 53. 2 III, X63. » Rosscher, iii. 138. 


ised,^ or when the party who makes the first advances is 
the less civilised of the two,^ or where the practice sur- 
vives in the market usages of rude tribesmen who speak 
the same language and occupy the same level of culture.* 

Sec. 37. It is not to be supposed that this usage is 
invariably due to one and the same cause, or that it has 
invariably followed the same course of development.*- Thus 
very similar methods have been adopted for the purpose of 
avoiding contact with persons infected, or belonging to a 
different caste. While the plague was raging at Win- 
chester, those who wished to exchange without coming 
into touch with those who were stricken, placed the 
articles on a large stone outside the city walls :^ Mateer* 
says of the Pulayar of Travancore, that one of that caste 
may not approach within ninety-six paces of a Brahman, 
or within about forty-eight paces of a Sudra. "If he 
wishes to make a purchase, he places his money on a stone, 
and retires to the appointed distance. Then the merchant 
or seller comes, takes up the money, and lays down what- 
ever quantity of goods he chooses to give for the sum 
received." Or the practice may be the result of obedience 
to a law forbidding the reception of strangers,^ or of the 

^ E.g., certain mountain tribes of Guatemala and the negro merchants of 
Melli (see above, sec. 26). As to the Chukchi, see above, sec. 27. It is suffi- 
ciently obvious that this type of case may occur very mudi more frequently than 
the number of recorded instances would lead us to imagine. We are, of course, 
not likely to hear of such cases from the parties. 

^ E»g., Akka, Veddahs, Smoos, and Twakas, the native tribes of the Rio del 
Norte (see above, sec. 26), and the Makuas (see above, sec. 27). 

' As at Wairuku (see sec. 30 above). 

* See as to Ngia-ngiampe above, sec. 35, note. 

« J. Milner, "History of Winchester," Winchester, 1798, i. 428. 

" " The Land of Charity : A Descriptive Account of Travancore and its 
People," London, 1871, pp. 46, 47. 

7 Diego de Torres (** Kelacion del origen y su cesso de los Xarifes," Serilla, 
1585, p. 469) informs us that the inhabitants of Tomocotu, in consequence of a 


special circumstances of a particular trade.^ Still, we are 
led by a survey of the evidence to believe that, in the 
majority of cases, it arose among men who desired to 
obtain, without the exercise of force, certain articles which 
were to be found, not within the limits of the association to 
which they belonged, but in the possession of alien, and 
therefore hostile, tribes. They were compelled to hit upon 
some means of inducing those who owned the coveted 
articles to part with them freely and voluntarily ; and, in 
seeking for these means, they had no guide but their 
experience of transacting with their fellow-tribesmen. 
The principle which underlay these transactions was that 
of giving on the understanding or, at all events, in the 
expectation of receiving an adequate return ; and it was 
this principle which they applied in their dealings with 
strangers. They chose some spot on the border-land 
between their own country and that of the tribe with 
which they wished to traffic ; and there they set out their 

law excluding strangers from their territory, were in danger of losing their 
commerce. Accordingly they erected buildings beyond the city walls, and 
permitted strangers to occupy them for purposes of trade. The strangers set 
out their wares before the doors, and withdrew within. The citizens in- 
spected the goods, and, having laid down little heaps of gold, retired in their 
turn. Then the strangers came out, and, if they were satisfied, took the gold. 
If they were not satisfied they retired again, and made a signal. Upon this the 
citizens retired, and, if they wished the wares, added gold to the heaps. Then, 
if the strangers were satisfied, they took the gold, and the citizens carried o£f 
the wares. If this statement be well founded, it would seem that we have here 
an application of the primitive method in circumstances not primitive. 

^ According to Lansdell ('' Through Siberia,'' London, 1SS2, i. 102), when 
the merchants of Tobolsk go north in the summer to purchase fish "they take 
with them flour and salt, place them in their summer stations, and on their 
return leave unprotected what remains for the following year. Should a 
Samoyede pass by and require it, he does not scruple to take what he wants, 
but he leaves in its place an I.O.U., in the form of a duplicate stick, duly 
notched, to signify that he is a debtor ; and then, in the fishing season, he 
comes to his creditor, compares the duplicate stick he has kept with the one 
he left behind, and discharges his obligation." 



wares in the hope of disposing of them and obtaining 
what they wanted in exchange. And all the while they 
secured their own safety by keeping out of sight. Having 
once succeeded in opening a trade, they would naturally 
endeavour to renew it from time to time. And, if those 
with whom they traded were desirous that the trade should 
continue, they would refrain from either carrying off the 
articles offered without leaving a return, or attempting to 
capture or maltreat those who made the offer.^ Thus a 
trade in which self-interest is the guarantee of good faith 
would become established at a fixed place, and, probably, 
at fixed times ; and, if the articles were such as to command 
high prices in the markets of the world, and if the spot, 
where they were offered, was readily accessible, — if, for 
example, it was situated on a river-side, at the sea-shore, 
or where ways converged, — this trade would attract not 
only near neighbours but the merchants of distant 

Sec. 38. In many instances, the practice assumes a 
somewhat different form, both parties being present ; and 
it may be thought that this is a change due to a long- 
continued course of fair dealing, — that the savage has become 
less timorous, and, while keeping at a safe distance from 
those with whom he is transacting, desires to see, and 
allows himself to be seen by, them. Still, we must 
remember that custom is slow to alter. Thus, we are told 
of the merchants of Melli and the Blacks of the Niger that 
" they have carried on their trade from time immemorial, 

^ "An emperor of Melli, curious to see these people, four were captured by 
stratagem. Of these one was retained. He never spoke, abstained from 
nourishment, and died in four days. ... No one of the successive emperors 
have ever repeated a similar attempt, as, by the capture and death of the 
negro, they had during three whole years carried their salt to no purpose, as 
they never found any gold in return " (Cadamosto, 58 ; cp. Cartwright, i. 6), 


without seeing or speaking to each other in the greatest 
harmony ; " ^ and we have a very similar account of the 
Aleuts ; ^ and so it may be that, in some cases at all events, 
this is not a later, but rather an independent, form, origina- 
ting with men who were not too timid to show themselves. 
Sec. 39. In some of the instances, the practice subsists 
only as a survival, the conditions which occasioned it 
having disappeared in whole or in part. Thus, in the case 
of the Aleuts, the parties are not enemies ; they belong to 
the same race and speak the same language ; and yet, in 
order to avoid being seen in transacting business, they will 
trade only through the medium of a third person.^ Among 
the Sabaeans, the place of exchange is said to have been the 
temple of a god, who saw to the safe custody of the goods 
in return for a third of the price ; * while the cacique of the 
Puelches fills the double r61e of protector and broker, — a 
r61e which, as we shall see,^ is of vast importance in the 
transactions of early commerce. He provides for the safety 
and maintenance of the foreign trader, he acts as middle- 
man between him and his subjects, and he receives a present 
for his trouble.® In the case of the natives of Fernando Po, 
and of certain tribes on the Niger, the parties to the traffic 
are separated from one another only by a line drawn in the 
sand ; ^ and the mention of this line recalls to us Ibn-al- 

* Cadamosto, 57. ' See above, sec. 28. 

* Dall (p. 396) states that they are too shy to transact business personally ; and, 
from what he says of them, it is plain that bashfulness is a marked characteristic 
of their disposition. Dallas account of the silent trade is founded upon the 
valuable description of the Aleuts by the Russian priest, Weniaminow (see v. 
Wrangell, pp. 177-225). The case of the frequenters of the fair at Wairuku 
{see above, sec. 30) is somewhat similar. The fact that the Smoos and Twakas 
come down to the coast villages to dispose of their wares, when they have failed 
to find a purchaser by means of the silent trade, shows that among them the 
original conditions of that trade have disappeared (see above, sec. 26). 

* See above, sec. 29. " See below, sec. 48. 
" See above, sec. 28. ' See above, sec. 27. 


Wardl's ^ description of the silent trade, and suggests that^ 
in this instance, one characteristic of the primitive practice 
has alone survived. 

Sec. 40. Viewed as a factor in the constitution of 
relations which, if not friendly, are at least not hostile, the 
primitive market, except in its rudest forms, shows a 
marked advance upon the previous practice. Those who 
engaged in the silent trade secured their safety by keeping 
apart from those with whom they were dealing ; ^ but those 
who frequent the market are safe, for the time being, at all 
events, although they associate with one another in the 
prosecution of their affairs. For the place itself is regarded 
as neutral, and, in some cases, as sacred ; in other words, 
the conception of a "peace" has been formed, — a peace 
attached to a certain spot, and observed while the market 
held there lasts. Sometimes the peace extends beyond 
the limits of the market-place to the paths which lead to 
it ; and a further advance is made when the privilege 
becomes personal rather than local, — becomes, that is to 
say, the privilege of the trader rather than of the place of 

^ See above, sec. 27. 

3 Dalton's statement (" Descriptive Ethnology of Bengal," Calcutta, 1872^ 
p. 279), r^;arding a tribe of Gonds is interesting in this connection. He sa^s- 
that *' the Minis are desqibed as an intensely shy people ; so much so that 
those who are most accustomed to deal with them are not admitted to an 
interview. The officer who collects their annual rent approaches a M^uia 
village, beats a drum, and retires. The customary dues are then deposited for 
him at a spot previously agreed upon, and left for him to appropriate." 


Sec. 41. An examination of the methods of primitive 
commerce serves to show us how the old view and the old 
practice in regard to the stranger gradually yield to a new 
view and a new practice. He does not cease to be an 
enemy ; but, for a limited time and for a special purpose, he 
is treated as a friend. This temporary friendliness assumes, 
at an early stage of commercial intercourse, a form familiar 
to primitive men in their dealings with those of their own 
tribe. They are accustomed to exercise hospitality to- 
wards their fellow-tribesmen, to visit them, and to receive 
visits from them. These visits are not always, but are 
almost always, accompanied by an exchange of gifts, which 
is, in some cases, indistinguishable from barter. This 
method of exchange was, as we have seen,^ adopted in the 
earliest transactions of trade with strangers; and, by a 
somewhat similar process of adaptation, the exercise of 
hospitality is extended beyond the tribal circle.^ 

^ See above, sec. 37. 

^ A striking testimony to this modification of view and practice in favour of 
the stranger is supplied by language in a group of words, of which the original 
meaning is that of the guest or stranger and the enemy. It is not doubtful that 
the Latin "hostis," — "the stranger," "the enemy,** — ^is identical with the 
Goth, "gasts," Greek ^4pos, Old Germ, "gast,"— "the stranger," " the enemy," 
"the guest,"— and with the old Slav. " gosti,"—" guest " ; but the Latin 
word does not express the feeling of friendliness towards strangers. That 
feeling finds expression for the first time, so far as Latin is concerned, in 



Sec. 42. But, in order to secure a friendly reception, the 
stranger must show that his intentions are pacific. Even 
the man who visits another member of the same tribe 
must signify, in some way or other, that it is a friend who 
is approaching. Thus, among the natives of King George's 
Sound, the visitor advances with green boughs in his hand, 
and a fillet of green leaves on his head ; ^ and, among 
the Yuracar^s, he announces his presence by sound of 
trumpet.^ In Mexico, the peaceful traveller, especially the 

"hospes" ("hosti-pets") (Schrader, " Reallexikon d. Indc^ermanischen Alter- 
thums-kunde," Strassburg,i90i,p.27i ; R. v. Ihering, "Geist d. R. R.,"i. 227). 
In the Russian chronicles, the word *' gosti ** is applied especially to merchants ; 
and it may be observed that, in the town-laws of Copenhagen, "gesteskud" 
is the payment which the foreign merchant made for the privilege of trading 
(A. L. von Schlozer, ** Russische Annalen in ihrer Slavonischen Grundsprache : 
. . . erklart und Ubersetzt," Gottingen, 1805, iii. 280, cp. iv. 64. 

^ Scott Nind, 44. The presentation of green boughs or the wearing of 
green leaves is regarded as a token of peace by the Australian tribes (Curr, 
i. 86), and in many parts of Pol)mesia (Ellis, ♦* Polyn. Researches," i. 318 ; 
** Byron's Voyage," in Hawkesworth, i. 105 ; Cook and King, i. 187, 191 ; 
iii. 76 ; Wilkes, i. 320 ; v. 41 ; Kotzebue, ii. 23). A somewhat similar 
account is given of some of the tribes of New Zealand (Forster, " A Voyage 
Round the World," London, 1797, i. 161, 167; Dumont D'Urville, "Voyage de 
la Corvette 1* Astrolabe pendant les Annies 1826-29 ; " " Histoire du Voyage " 
(Paris, 1830, ii. 556), of the Araucarians (Stevenson, **A Historical and 
Descriptive Account of Twenty Years' Residence in South America," London, 
1825, i. 55, 105), and of the Batta of Sumatra (Marsden, 308). In some instances, 
it seems to be doubtful whether the symbol is meant to express submission or 
amity. See Herrera (i. 170, iv. 207, 327) regarding the natives of Hispaniola, 
New Spain, and Peru, Mariner (i. 153, 284) regarding the inhabitants of the 
Tonga group, and Wilkes (v. 41) regarding those of Depeyster's group. To 
set fire to green boughs, and wave them when burning, is considered by the 
Australian aborigines as equivalent to a declaration of hostilities (Mitchell, 
i. 243, 280. But see Brough Smyth, " The Aborigines of Victoria," London, 
1878, i. 134, whom Crawley (p. 146) quotes in support of the statement that 
when one Australian *' tribe approaches another, that is unknown to it, they 
carry burning sticks to purify the air **). When the Namaquas wish to be at 
peace with the Kamaka Damaras, they hold unpeeled sticks in their hands 
(Alexander, p. 170) ; and among the Shoshonees, the stranger paints the 
women's cheeks with vermilion in token of peace (Lewis and Clarke, ii. 86). 

2 D'Orbigny, iv. 164. 


pedlars by whom the trade of Anahuac was largely carried 
on, bore a wooden staff in sign of peace.^ In East Africa, 
the stranger " must sit under some tree outside the settle- 
ment, till a deputation of elders, after formally ascertain- 
ing his purpose, escort him to their homes." 2 in the 
Marianne Islands, he must immediately on his arrival 
announce himself to the headman of the village, on pain of 
being treated as an outlaw.^ The same conception seems to 
have found expression in the law of Ine, which provided 
that if the stranger would not be taken for a thief, he must 
either keep to the beaten track, or shout, or blow a horn ; * 
and in the widely prevalent practice of savages, who show, 
by displaying the articles of which they are ready to dis- 
pose, that they have come, not to fight, but to trade.^ On 
the other hand, it is all important for the stranger to know 
whether those whom he is approaching are, or are not, well- 
disposed towards him. The Masai women show their 
friendly feelings by going to meet him with grass in their 
hands, and chanting a salutation ; ^ and, at the Bay of Good 
Success, the Yahgans rose to meet the voyagers, each of 
them throwing away a small stick. By this action they 
were understood to mean that they had cast aside their 
weapons, and that their intentions were friendly.^ So, too, 
the Shoshonee warriors will not smoke the pipe of peace 
with strangers until they have pulled off their own 
moccasins. By this ceremony they intend to indicate 

1 E. J. Payne, " History of the World called America," Oxford, 1892, 1 534. 

2 R. F. Burton, **The Lake Regions of Central Africa," London, i860, 
ii. 55. Sometimes the object of his visit is first ascertained by divination 
(D. and C. Livingstone, "Narrative of an Expedition to the Zambesi, 
1858-64," London, 1865, p. 109). ^ Waitz-Gerland, v. (Th. ii.) 125. 

* Grimm, D. R.-A., 400; but see Wilda, 673, note \ 

^ E,g.y O. v. Kotzebue, i. 189 ; see below, sec. 55, note K 

* Thomson, p. 89 ; cp. p. 197. > 

' Cook's ** Voyage " in Hawkesworth, ii. 43. 


that their friendly professions are sincere, and imprecate 

upon themselves the misery of going barefoot for ever, — 

no small thing in their thorny country, — should they prove 

neglectful of their guests.^ Among the Indians of Guinea, 

the host expresses his kindly intentions by offering a bowl 

of drink to his visitor,^ among the Brazilian natives by j 

handing him his lighted cigar,^ and among some of the ' 

Papuan tribes by presenting him with betel nut * It seems 

probable that the elaborate forms of greetings in use 

among many peoples, — for example, among the Akawais, 

Arawaaks, and Macusis, — have the same end in view, — 

that of ascertaining and indicating the intentions of the 


Sec. 43. Once received, the stranger is assured of pro- 
tection ; but that protection has its limitations. Frequently | 
it lasts so long only as he is in actual residence with his 
host. Thus, Burckhart ® says of the Arab that " he robs 
his enemies, his friends, and his neighbours, provided that 
they are not actually in his, own tent, where their property 
is sacred."^ Burton tells us that the Warori resemble the 
Bedouins in the one point, that the chief will entertain his 
guests hospitably so long ?ls they are in his village, and will 
plunder them they moment they leave it Again, it is said 
that at Meccah, "an inhabitant of one quarter passing 
singly through another, becomes a guest ; once beyond the 
walls, he is likely to be beaten to insensibility by his 

^ Lewis and Clarke, ii. 87. To smoke the calumet is to give the most 
inviolable pledge of keeping the peace. The passing of the wampum belt is 
a symbol of like meaning (Catlin, i. 235, 222, note). 

2 Schomburgk, i. 197. » C. F. Ph. von Martius, 56. 

* Kohler, " Recht d. Papuas," " Zeits. f. vergl. Rechtsw.," xiv. 389. Similar 
customs prevail at Amboina and Kissar (Riedel, 41, 405). 

5 Schomburgk, i. 205, 361, 362 ; see also D'Orbigny, iv. 164. 

« "Notes on the Bedouins and Wahdbys," London, 1830, i. 158. 

' " The Lake Regions,*' ii. 274. | 



hospitable foes;"^ and Petitot^ tells us that, while the 
Eskimo of the Mackenzie River are truly hospitable to the 
stranger, and regard his person as inviolable so long as he 
is with them, they will, so soon as he has left their huts, or 
crossed the boundary of the district which they occupy, 
very probably rob him, and perhaps murder him. In 
many cases, however, the host continues to protect his 
guest after his departure, either by escorting ^ him on his 
way, or by giving him some token which will secure to him 
a friendly reception.* 

^ R. F. Burton, " Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to £1-Medinah and 
Meccah," London, 1885, iii. 145. 2 p^ g^^ 

' It is the invariable practice at Kordofan to escort the guest some distance 
(J. Petherick, " Egypt, The Soudan, and Central Africa," London, 1861, 
P' 237). In Fiji, guests are always escorted to the canoe or to the outskirts of 
the town (Williams and Calvert, i. 155), and the Circassian host escorts his 
departing guest to another lodging (J. von Klaproth, ** Travels in the Caucasus 
and Georgia, in 1807-08," transl. by F. Schoberl, London, 1814, p. 336). See 
also, Meakin, " The Moors," p. 294, quoted in the next note. 

* In Kundma, it is a common practice for the host to give his staff to his 
guest as a passport and mark of protection (Munzinger, O. S., 384). Leo 
Africanus (ii. 327) speaks of a chief's spear as being used for a like purpose. In 
the edition of the Heimskringla by Laing and Anderson (i. 68), the editors 
observe that, " when kings or great people met in those ages, they exchanged 
gifts or presents with each other, and do so still in the East ; and the original 
object of this custom was that each should have tokens known to the other, by 
which any bearer afterwards should be accredited to the original owner of the 
article sent with him in token, and even the amount of confidence to be 
reposed in him denoted." A similar practice obtained in Old Russia (A. L. 
von Schlozer, " Russische Annalen," iv. 59). The aiifi^oXov of the Greeks, 
the * symbolum ' or * tessera hospitalis * of the Latins, the * chirs aelychoth * of 
the Carthaginians, and the kalduke of the Narrinyeri (see sec. 35 above), seem 
to have served a like purpose (Schrader, " Sprachvergleichung und Urge- 
schichte," 2te Aufl., Jena, 1890, p. 507 ; Id, Handelsgeschichte u. Warenkunde, 
p. 1 1 ; Id. Reallexikon, p. 273 ; R. von Ihering, Die Gastfreundschaft im 
Alterthum, Deutsche Rundschau, Berlin, 1887, li. 387 seg,), Taplin (in 
J. D. Wood's " Native Tribes of South Australia," p. 33) observes that " some- 
times two persons are made ngia-ngiaupe to each other temporarily. This is 
done by^dividing the kalduke, and giving one part to each of them. As long 
as they retain the pieces they are estranged from each other, but when the 


It was the custom in old Germany for a guest to remain 
not longer than three days ; ^ and a similar rule appears to 
have prevailed among the Moors of Brakna, on the Sene- 
gal.* Among the Aenezes, the stranger, who has no friend 
or protector in the camp, alights at the first tent, and is 
received as a guest whether the host be at home or not. 
On the expiry of three days and four hours, the host asks 
him whether he intends to prolong his visit ; and, if his 
answer be in the affirmative, he is expected to assist in such 
domestic matters as fetching water and milking the camels. 
He may decline to help, and, in that case, he incurs the 
censure of public opinion ; or, he may go to another tent^ 
The Aleuts are hospitable, but in a way peculiar to them- 
selves. A stranger, who has no relative or friend to whom 
to betake himself, may choose his quarters. He is not 
invited by anyone, but all are ready to receive him. He is 
entertained with the best, is asked for nothing, can stay as 
long as he likes, and is supplied on his departure with pro- 
visions for his journey.* We are told ^ of the Kandhs of 
Orissa that every stranger is an invited guest, and that a 
guest can never be turned away. So, too, the Ostiak host 
gives the stranger the best he has, and, after the repast, pre- 

purpose for which this was done is accomplished, they return the pieces of the 
kalduke to the original owner, and then they may hold intercourse with each 
other again." According to Simpson (p. 926), '' A man of good name would 
have no difficulty in procuring food and shelter while travelling through any 
part of the country" of the Western Eskimo, "as, when he ceased to be 
known by his own reputation, he would be accepted as guest by mentioning 
the name of his last entertainer." Meakin (" The Moors," p. 294) says that 
the Moor entertains the traveller for the night, and tells him next day for 
whom to ask in the first village on his route, a companion being sent 
with him if necessary. ' Grimm, D. R.-A., 400. 

^ Caillid, i. 75. As to the New Zealanders, see Cook and King, i. 139. 

' Burckhart, ** Notes on the Bedouins," i. 179. See below, sec. 47. 

< Dall, p. 397. ^ Hunter, ii. 85. 


sents him with a gift without expecting anything in return.^ 
In Java, food and lodging are provided for all strangers 
arriving at a village. " It is not sufficient," say the Javan 
Institutions, " that a man should place good food before his 
guest ; he is bound to do more ; he should render the meal 
palatable by kind words, and treatment to soothe him after 
his journey, and to make his heart glad whiles he partakes 
of the refreshment/' ^ Among the Great Ingusches, who 
have borrowed their manners and customs from the Ossetes 
and Circassians, care for the comfort of the guest and 
deferential behaviour towards him are carried still further ; 
for the host is said to wait upon him, and to eat whatever 
he may choose to throw to him.^ In addition to food and 
lodging and an amiable host, there is, amongst many 
peoples, further provision made for the stranger: he is, 
that is to say, admitted to the marital privileges of his 
entertainer. This custom illustrates the conception, widely 
prevalent among savage societies, that the wife is the hus- 
band's property, and can be disposed of as such. Nor is it 
the wife only who is subjected to this treatment ; it is, in 
many instances, extended to the daughter and the 

Sec. 44. The person of the guest is sacred. Thus, 

^ Pallas, V. 162. This custom of making a present to the departing guest 
is very general. See Man, 94, 148 (Andaman Islands) ; Waitz-Gerland, 
vi. 145 (Polynesia) ; Laing and Anderson, Heimskringla, i. 138; iii. 26, 52 
(Norse Kingdoms). As to the interchange of gifts between host and guest 
among the Homeric Greeks, see B. W. Leist, " Graeco-ital. Rechts- 
geschichte," p. 213 ; Schrader, " Handelsgeschichte und Warenkunde," p. 9. 

3 T. S. Raffles, **The History of Java," London, 1817, i. loi. 

^ J. von Klaproth, 349 ; the Mandans also wait on their guests (Catlin, 
i. IIS). 

* Numerous authorities are cited in Westermark, pp. 73"75» '^^ Yule's 
edition of "Marco Polo," i. 214, and in A. H. Post, " Grundriss/' i. 28. 
Crawley's explanation of the practice will be found at pp. 248, 280, 285, 479 
of his book. See sec. 8 above. 


among the Ossetes, the host considers himself respon- 
sible for his safety, and, if he be murdered or wounded, 
avenges him as if he were a kinsman. If he discover him 
to be his enemy, he entertains him notwithstanding ; and 
declares his enmity only on his departure.^ The Circas- 
sian, when he has taken a person under his protection, or 
received him, will never betray him ; and should an enemy 
attempt to carry him off by force, the host's wife will give 
him milk from her breast He thus becomes her son, and 
his brethren are bound to defend him and to avenge his 
blood.^ Again, the Takue regard the rights of the stranger 
as peculiarly sacred ; and instances are recorded in which 
a guest, who has killed a man in the village, has been dis- 
missed unharmed to his native land.* Among the Kabyles, 
the anaya, — a form of protection, — maybe granted to an indi- 
vidual, a 5of, a village, or a tribe ; and to injure the protdgd 
is punishable with death and confiscation of property.* 

Sec. 45. Among the Pacific islanders, an exchange of 
names^ constitutes the strongest pledge of friendship, each 

^ V. Haxthausen, p. 412 ; Keating ("Narrative of an Expedition to Explore 
the Source of St. Peter's River," i. 98) says that among the Potowatami, the 
stranger is protected ; but that, if he turn out to be an enemy, the laws of 
hospitality will not save him. 

' J. V. Klaproth, p. 318. Among the modern Moors, the murder of the 
stranger is avenged by his late host as an insult to himself (Meakin, "The 
Moors,'' p. 294). As to blood-brotherhood, see below, sec. 45. 

' Munzinger, O. S., 208. 

* Hanoteau et Letourneux, ii. 61, 62. The 9of is an association for the 
purposes of mutual defence and offence, and reaches every relation of life. 
Generally, each village is divided into two 9of ; and, in times of trouble, the 
weaker of the two seeks the alliance of one of the 9of of the neighbouring 
villages. The 9of thus extends, sometimes to the tribe, sometimes even to 
alien tribes {Id, ib, ii. 14). 

^ The practice is general in Polynesia (Waitz-Gerland, vi. 130-01 ; Cook and 
King, ii. 9; iii. 18; v. Kotzebue, ii. 48, 107), and is in use in the 
Solomon Islands (Mendafia, 113, 197, 232), in the islands of Torres Straits 
(Waitz-Gerland, vi. 622), and in some of the Micronesian Archipelagos 


of the parties being bound to support and protect the other, 
and to permit him to share in the most intimate rights.^ 
A ceremony, by which persons are joined together in an 
artificial bond of brotherhood is found among nearly all the 
tribes of Eastern and Central Africa.^ Among the Batuta, 
those who are to be made brothers drink beer containing 
the blood of each ; ^ and similar ceremonies are described 
as taking place at Mruli,* among tribes near the east 
African coast,^ in Timor,^ in Borneo,^ in Old Germany,* 
and among some of the Indian tribes of North America.^ 
Of the Sdre or brother-oath of the Wazaramo Burton ^^ 
says that " like the * manred ' of Scotland, and the * munh 

{Id, V. (Th. ii.) 130). It is also found in the Antilles {Id, iii. 388), among the 
native tribes of South Australia (Angas, i. 59), the Chopunnish (Lewis and 
Clarke, iii. 254), the Spokanes (Bancroft, I 285, note), the Mohawks (C» 
Golden, "The History of the Five Indian Nations of Canada," London^ 
1755, i. II), the Mapuches (E. R. Smith, "The Araucarians," New York, 
1855, P* ^^2)> ^^^ o^ ^^^ Zambesi (D. and C. Livingstone, " Narrative of an 
Expedition to the Zambesi," p. 149). In the Marianne Islands the child 
receives its name from the friends of the family ; and they in consequence of 
giving it, are looked upon as related to the child, and as having undertaken 
certain duties in regard to it (Waitz-Gerland, v. (Th. ii.) 109. 

1 Ellis, "Polyn. Researches," iii. 124. 

2 Kohler, " Das Banturecht in Ostafrika," " Zeits. f. vergl. Rechtsw.," xv. 
40 ; G. Burrows, " The Land of the Pigmies," p. 28. 

' Livingstone, " Missionary Travels," 488 ; cp. Herodotus, iv. 70, as to the 
manner in which the Scythians made oath. 

* C. T. Wilson and R. B. Felkin, " Uganda and the Egyptian Soudan," 
London, 1882, ii. 41. 

* Krapf, 238 ; Thomson, %%, « " A Naturalist's Wanderings," 452. 
7 St. John, i. 116, 117 ; Ling Roth, ii. 205. 

^ Brunhild says, " Rememberest thou that clearly, Gunnar ? How ye twain 
(Sigurd and thyselO did let your blood flow together in the footprint (swear- 
ing brotherhood) ..." ("The Long Lay of Brunhild, in * Corpus Poeticum 
Boreale,'" G. Vigfusson and F. York Powell, Oxford, 1883, i. 308). 

* See authorities in Kohler, "Die Rechte der Urvolker Nordamerikas," 
"Zeitschrift £ vergl. Rechtsw.," xii. 392. 

^® "The Lake Regions," i. 114. He observes that an exchange of small 
presents generally concludes the ceremony. 


bola bhai' of India, and similar fraternal institutions 
amongst most of the ancient tribes of barbarians, in whom 
sociability is a passion, it tends to reconcile separate inter- 
ests between man and man, to modify the feuds and dis- 
cords of savage society, and principally to strengthen those 
that need an alliance." He adds that it forms a strong tie, 
as it is a matter of general belief that its infraction is fol- 
lowed by death or slavery.^ 

Sec. 46. Among the Bechuanas and other Kafirs certain 
associations are formed, the members of which regard one 
another as comrades. The association is called " mopato," 
the comrade "molekane." When a fugitive comes to a 
tribe he joins the "mopato," corresponding to that in his 
own tribe to which he belongs. Further, the stranger 
may attach himself to an individual as his ** molekane," 
from whom he will receive the necessary supplies.^ So, 
too, the Eskimo of the Mackenzie River chooses a 
protector among the strangers whom he frequents; and 
this alliance, once recognised, becomes inviolable, and 
establishes between the parties a sort of relationship and 
community of rights and duties. If the prot^gd be rich, 
his only difficulty is to choose between protectors.* At 
Rurutu, on the arrival of strangers, every native endeavours 
to obtain one as a friend. If he succeed, he carries him 
off to his own dwelling, where he and the other inhabitants 
of the district treat him with the greatest kindness. Some- 

^ In the Babar Archipelago, in the island of Wetar, and at Timor-laut, 
death or disaster attends the breach of the oath of friendship (Riedel, 342, 446, 
447, 284 ; see also 153, 198, 396 ; and cp. 128. A curious custom is noted by 
Spencer and Gillen (pp. 461, 462) as existing among some of the Central Aus- 
tralian tribes. If a party of natives are about to go on a punitive expedition, and 
have among them a man of the locality whither they are bound, they force 
him to drink blood with them. Having done so, he is bound not to warn his 
friends. * Livingstone, "Missionary Travels," 148, 316. 

» Petitot, pp. 138, 239. 


times competition for the possession of the stranger is so 
keen that the natives come to blows.^ Again, when a ship 
arrives at Mindanao, the natives come aboard and invite 
the voyagers to their houses, inquiring who has a comrade 
or " pagally." The former is a familiar male friend, the latter 
a Platonic friend of the opposite sex. This friendship is 
purchased with a small present, and afterwards confirmed 
with trifling gifts from time to time ; and with this friend 
the stranger stays whenever he goes ashore.^ Ibn Batuta^ 
describes a similar custom as existing at Makdeshu. The 
host buys and sells for his guest ; and anyone attempting ^ 
to overreach the latter, or to deal with him in the absence 
of his protector is censured by public opinion. When the 
Klaarwater Hottentot went to barter at Litakun he sought - 
out his " maat," who, for a small present of tobacco, supplied 
him with provisions, and assisted him in making his pur- 
chases. When the " maat " visited the Hottentot village he 
had free quarters.* A similar custom prevails among the 
Bamaflwato. They place food, shelter, and a wife at the 
disposal of the friend.^ 

Sec. 47. Among the Bedouins, the stranger, by payment 
of a small sum, becomes " dakheil," — protected. It is then 
a duty incumbent upon all to give him a brother's help ; 
while to injure him is regarded as an offence greater than 
to injure his protector. In some cases, — among the Arabs 
of Sinai, for instance, — this protection is continued for 
three days and eight hours after the "dakheil" has left 
his protector's tent. But if the stranger neglect to make 
such payment, he may expect to be plundered ; and, if he 

^ Ellis, " Polyn. Researches," iii. 104, 105. 

' W. Dampier, "A New Voyage Round the World," London, 1703, i. 328. 

3 II. 181, 182. ^1 

* Burchell, ii. SSS } cp. Burton, " The Lake Regions,*' ii. 55. 

' Chapman, i, 97, note. 


resist, to be slain.^ At Zayla, the Bedouin becomes the 
"Nazil" or guest of the townsman. This tie can be 
dissolved only by the formula of triple divorce, and its 
violation is severely punished.* Again, every Abyssinian 
merchant who transacts business at Massua enters into a 
like relation with some inhabitant of the place, who, in 
return for a payment, supplies him with food, and assists 
him in buying and selling.^ 

Sec. 48. According to Burton,* " the Abban or protector 
of the Somali country is the Mogasa of the Gallas, the 
Akh of El Hejaz, the Ghafir of the Sinaitic Peninsula, and 
the Rabia of Eastern Arabia. . . . The Abban acts at once 
as broker, escort, agent, and interpreter, and the institution 
may be considered the earliest form of transit dues. In all 
cases he receives a certain percentage, his food and lodging 
are provided at the expense of his employer, and he not 
infrequently exacts small presents from his kindred. In 
return he is bound to arrange all differences, and even to 
fight the battles of his client against his fellow-countrymen. 
Should the Abban be slain his tribe is bound to take up the 
cause, and to make good the losses of their protdgd . . . 
According to the laws of the country, the Abban is the 
master of the life and property of his client" A similar 
institution is found among the Abyssinians,^ and the 
Bogos.® Among the Beni-Amer the foreign merchant 

1 Burton, " Meccah," iii. 86 ; Burckhart, " Notes on the Bedouins," 

i. 174, 336. 

* R. F. Burton, " First Footsteps in East Africa," London, 1856, p. 124. 
3 Mundnger, O. S., 121. 

^Burton, "First Footsteps/* p. 89. S'ee Kr^pf (p. 83) as to Gallas, and 
' Ha^enmacher (pp. 32-36) as to Somalis. 

* Burton, ** The Lake Regions," L 253. < 

« W. Munadnger, " Sitten u. Recht der Bogos," Winterthur, 1859, pp. 44-46. 
The relationship thus created b held among the Bogos to be hereditary (ItL id, ; 
cp. R. V. Ihering, " Die Gastfireundschaft,** pp. 389-392). 


must take a temporary protector ; ^ and, according to 
Leo Africanus,^ the traveller must, in some parts of 
Morocco, have the escort of some saint or woman of 
the country. 

Sec. 49. When the royal power is absolute, the king 
very generally monopolises commerce, at the same time 
protecting the trader. Thus, in the Soolima country, he 
does not permit mercantile transactions to take place 
except with his knowledge and in his presence. Strangers 
on arrival send their goods to his trading-house, and he 
makes known what is for sale. The purchaser makes 
his own bargain with the seller, and is responsible 
to the king for payment. When the stranger wishes to 
depart, the king collects the debt, retains custom, and 
gives him the balance and a present with leave to go 
away.^ At Shoa and Usambara, the foreigner, by giving 
a small present to the king, whose power is absolute, can 
secure his protection. He may not, however, leave the 
country without permission.* At Ugogo, the passage- 
money exacted by the Sultan takes, in Burton's opinion, 
the place of the fees payable elsewhere to the Abban. No 
doubt the Sultan nominally receives it, but he must 
distribute the greater part of it among the members of 
his family, his counsellors, and his attendants.^ 

When the protection of the stranger is the concern of 
the community or of the king, he is, in general, lodged in 
a public building set apart for the entertainment of travel- 

1 Id, O. S., 314. « II. 229, 326. 

^ A. G. Laing, " Travels in the Timannee, Kooranko, and Soolima Countries 
in V\^est Africa,'* London, 1825, pp. 356, 357. * Krapf, p. 37a 

* Burton, " The Lake Regions," L 253 ; cp. ii. 55. As to passj^e-money in 
Uganda and Masailand, see Wilson and Felkin, i. 58 ; Thomson, pp. 94, 271 ; 
J. H. Speke, ** Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile," London, 
1863, pp. 126, 131, 171. 


lers.^ The royal hospitality is not always, however, an 
unqualified benefit to the recipient Thus, in Uganda, 
where all strangers are the king's guests, while they 
are permitted to help themselves to the garden-produce 
belonging to his subjects, they are frequently in great 
straits, for the people may not sell to them, and no one 
may visit them without leave. The object of these restric- 
tions is, in part at all events, to secure to the king the full 
fleecing of his guests.^ 

Sec. so. Not only does the hospitable man enjoy the 
approval of his fellow-tribesmen ; ^ but he who refuses 

^ In Transoxiana buildings were reserved for strangers where, at any hour, 
and in any number, they and their beasts of burden received entertainment 
("The Oriental Geography of Ebn Haukel, an Arabian Traveller of the Tenth 
Century," translated by Sir W. Ouseley, London, 1800, p. 235). The Hovas 
allotted a separate hut to the stranger, where he was provided for by the chief 
of the place (Waitz-Gerland, ii. 437). In New Guinea, dwellings belonging to 
the headman are set apart for the travellers' benefit (D'Albertis, i. 390). Part 
of the Wahiby revenue is appropriated to the support of houses of public enter- 
tainment for strangers (Burckhart, "Notes on the Bedouins,'' ii. 156). In the 
large island of Dahalak, the village chief meets stranger, and provides him 
with food in a house set apart (Munzinger, O. S., loi). Rest-houses were 
built by the Incas (Herrera, v. 57) ; and, in South Yucatan, the village chief 
provides inns for passing travellers (Waitz-Gerland, iv. 305). The Abassians 
set apart rooms for the accommodation of guests (J. v. Klaproth, 248); and for 
this purpose houses of pubUc assembly are used by the Batta (Waitz-Gerland, 
V. (Th. i.) 184), by the Caroline Islanders {Id. v. (Th. ii.) 128), in the Loyalty 
Islands {Id. vi. 583), in Samoa (Wilkes, ii. 149), among the Hill Dyacks of 
Borneo (H. Low, " Sarawak," London, 1848, p. 282), and in Timbuctoo (Waitz- 
Gerland, ii. 94). In Fiji, temples are so used (Id, vL 590, cp. 585) ; and the 
mosque El Azhar is famous for its pious foundations for the relief of poor travellers 
(J. L, Burckhart, "Travels in Nubia," London, 1819, p. 410, note). Moreover, 
accommodation was provided for travellers by the peoples of northern and 
classical antiquity (Schrader," Handelsgeschichte a. Warenkunde," pp. 28-31). 

« Wilson and Felkin, i. 209 ; ii. 17, 26 ; Speke, pp. 268, 304, 345, 373, 376. 
As to the protection of the "pakeha," see "Old New Zealand," pp. 16$ etseq. 
As to the treatment of Jews in the Middle Ages, see Goldschmidt, p. no. 

* Burckhart, " Notes on the Bedouins," i. 72 (Bedouins), cp. Ebn Haukel, 
234. 235 (Transoxiana); Dall, 151 (Tribes S. of Yukon River); Rink, 28,29; 
J. Simpson, 926 (Western Eskimo); Sproat, 112, 113 (Ahts). 


hospitality is regarded as blameworthy, and is, in some 
cases, subjected to punishment.^ Still, a friendly reception 
has, in some cases, inconvenient consequences. Thus, the 
Fiji islanders regard all strangers in an enemy's country as 
enemies; 2 and the same view seems to be held by the 
Black-feet and the Snake Indians.^ According to Basuto 
custom, every stranger in a foreign country must, on war 
breaking out, join with the inhabitants even against his 
own countrymen ; * and, in Tonga, every man is bound to 
espouse the cause of the chief on whose island he may 
happen to be when war is declared.^ On the other hand, 
in the Caroline Islands, strangers may pass without let or 
hindrance through hostile parties, remaining on good terms 
with both sets of combatants.* 



Sec. 51. We have seen that visits are frequently inter- 
changed between the different groups which compose a 

^ It was provided by the Lex Burgundia that " quicunque hospiti venienti 

I tectum aut focum negaverit, trium solidorum inlatione mulctetur " (Grimm, D. 

R.-A., 399). Lack of hospitality is punishable among the Mongols (G. Tim- 

kowski, " Travels of- the Russian Mission through Mongolia to China," . . . 

! London, 1827 ; ii. 345) ; and the Kabyles (Hanoteau et Letourneux, ii. 117). 

j » Wilkes, iii. 298. 

^ J. Dunn, " History of the Oregon Territory,'* London, 1844, p. 324. 

^ Casalis, 224. ^ Mariner, i. 162, note. 

• Waitz-Gerland, v. (Th. ii.) 133. See also above, sec. 18, 33. In the 
Marquesas, a tribesman, who has entered into a bond of friendship with the 
members of a hostile tribe, may visit his friend's country in safety. "The 
individual so protected is said to be 'taboo,' and his person to a certain 
extent, is held as sacred " (Melville, p. 155 ; see Vincendon-Dumoulin et 
Desgraz, p. 258). According to the author last-named (p. 265), during certain 
festivities, of which each valley has its own, a solemn tabu protects strangers 
who come to participate in them. Hostile tribes come without fear to join in 
the pleasures of those with whom they have fought, or will shortly fight. 


tribe, and that this practice prevails even in the case of 
tribes which have little, if any, acquaintance with commerce. 
These visits are not always,^ but are almost always, the 
occasion of an exchange of gifts, and this exchange is, in 
some cases, indistinguishable from barter. It is not the 
entertainment of guests, but the entertainment of strangers 
as guests, which is unfamiliar to the primitive. man. In the 
early stages of this novel relation, the stranger is still 
regarded as an enemy, but is treated as a friend for a 
limited time, and for a specific purpose. He can count, at 
the least, upon food and shelter, and protection, so long as 
he is actually in residence with his host. In some cases, he 
can prolong his stay as long as he likes ; in other cases, he 
must bring it to a close on the expiry of a fixed period. 
Sometimes his entertainer protects him, even after his 
departure, by escorting him to the next village, or by pro- 
tecting him with a token which will ensure his friendly 
reception. Not infrequently this relation is indicated by an 
exchange of names, or by some such ceremony as that of 
blood-brotherhood. At first it seems to have been strictly 
personal to the individuals concerned. We find, however, 
instances in which it does not cease on the death of the 
original parties to it. Further, in many cases, the stranger 
is treated by his protector's tribe as its prot^g^ ; and, in 
this attitude of a community towards an individual, we see 

They generally leave on the evening of the third day, — a point of time which 
seems to be the limit of this friendly reception. Among the Nagas, if a 
tribesman marry a girl of a tribe at war with his own, he is regarded as a 
neutral (R. G. Woodthorpe, " Notes on the Wild Tribes, inhabiting the 
so-called Naga Hills, on our N.-E. Frontier of India, 1882, J. A. I., xi. 

56, 196). 

1 There does not appear to be evidence in regard to the Yahgans showing 
that the giving and receiving of gifts were incidents of their visit. At the same 
time it is to be kept in view that they exchanged presents on certain special 
occasions (see above, sees. 7, 9). 


the beginnings of that public hospitality which forms a 
marked feature in the life of classical antiquity. Lastly, it 
is to be observed, that to refuse hospitality is generally 
regarded by public opinion as blameworthy, and is, in some 
cases, punishable by law. 


Sec. 52. In the preceding pages, we have endeavoured 
to marshal the evidence which bears upon the early history 
of a remarkable change, — the change, that is to say, which 
has taken place in the modes in which man thinks of, and 
acts towards, his fellow-man. In primitive times, he re- 
gards and treats him as the subject of rights and duties, 
because he is a member of a group or association of 
groups. This early practice proceeds upon the view 
that the limits of the related groups, — of the tribe, — ^^form 
the ring-fence of all social existence, and that beyond 
those limits lies a world, peopled with beings, at once 
feared and hated, towards whom the only possible attitude 
is one of unceasing hostility. The existence of these 
beings is a danger not merely to this or that tribesman, 
but to the tribe itself ; it is essential to its very life that 
this danger be averted ; and, accordingly, the tribal law ^ 
imposes upon each and all the duty of hunting down the 
stranger and slaying him like a beast of prey. But a time 
comes in the history of every society which has a history, — 
which is, that is to say, not wholly unprogressive, — when its 
members find that its unaided resources are insufficient for 
the supply of their ever-increasing wants. They are 
forced, in consequence, to enter into relations of some 
sort with the surrounding populations ; and, in so doing, 

^ See above, sec. 23, and below, sec. 56. 


they must adopt one of two methods. Of these the most 
natural to the savage is the method of violence ; for, 
according to the only rule of conduct, legal or moral, with 
which he is acquainted, — the rule of custom, — the stranger 
is without right of any kind ; and so it is neither murder 
to kill him, nor robbery to strip him of his goods. Still, 
this method has its inconveniences, for it is uncertain in 
result and dangerous in practice ; and its danger and 
uncertainty lead the man, who desires to possess himself 
of his enemy's belongings, to seek for some means of 
inducing him to part voluntarily with them. The savage 
has no guide but his past experience of transacting with 
his fellow-tribesmen ; and, in these transactions, he pro- 
ceeded upon the principle of giving in the expectation, or 
upon the understanding, that he would receive a suitable 
return. In dealing with his enemies he adopts a method, — 
the method of the silent trade, — which gives effect to that 
principle, and at the same time secures his safety. In its 
simplest forms, this practice does little to improve the 
mutual relations of the parties to it, for it leaves them as 
it found them, enemies. They, indeed, keep faith with 
one another ; but, in so doing, they are actuated, not by any 
feeling of amity, but wholly and solely by the wish to 
serve their own interests. Still, if the practice itself do 
not improve these relations, it makes improvement 
possible ; for it implies the view that an enemy, although he 
is an enemy, can be dealt with otherwise than by violence.^ 

^ R. V. Ihering (**Der Zweck im Recht,'' 2te Aufl., Leipzig, 1884, i. 242 ; 
Die Gastfreundschaft, 382) observes that, if the savage spare the stranger, he 
spares him not from any friendly feeling towards him, for he hates and fears 
him, but because he has discovered that a living slave is of more value than a 
dead enemy ; and that this recognition of the worth of human life is the first 
step towards the recognition of man gud man as a persona. The evidence 
seems to show that, while primitive tribes may, in some instances, have spared 


Sec. 53. Upon this mode of intercourse that of the 
primitive market shows an important advance, because in 
all but its rudest forms it brings men together, whereas the 
earlier usage keeps them apart They run no risk of 
violence, so long as the trade continues ; for the spot where 
it is carried on is always neutral and often sacred. In 
many instances, the privilege comes to be personal rather 
than local; — that of the trader rather than that of the 
market-place; and, in such cases, it assumes a form 
familiar to the tribesmen in his intercourse with his fellows, 
— the form of hospitality. 

Sec. 54. Primitive hospitality resembles modern hospi- 
tality in one, and only in one, respect, — it is concerned with 
the relation of host to guest The modem host entertains his 
friends and acquaintances, and perhaps the friends of his 
friends ; and, in so doing, he fulfils his so-called social duties. 
But these are duties only in name ; they are neither morally 
nor legally obligatory ; and the man who fails to discharge 
them suffers no practical inconvenience other than that of 
being left more or less to himself In short, hospitality is 
nowadays and at its best a matter of good fellowship only ; 
it is not an affair of public concern. But, among primitive 
peoples, it has an importance which can hardly be over- 
estimated. It is not confined in its range to those who 
are known to the host either personally or through the 
introduction of a mutual friend, but is extended to absolute 
strangers. Moreover, it is obligatory ; and he who neglects 
or refuses to exercise it incurs the censure of public opinion, 
and is, in some cases, made liji^le to the penalties of the 

theirenemies in order to barter them,»they did not themselves keep slaves, 
owing, no doubt, in part, at all events, to the difficulty of maintaining them. 
7]ie Australian and Samoan practice (see above, sec 9) in regard to the 
conquered probably represents the primitive practice. 


law.^ At the same time the privilege accorded is not, 
except in its later forms, a permanent privilege. In other 
words, the stranger is protected by a certain person, for a 
certain time, at a certain place ; and so soon as he has over- 
stayed the prescribed time, or has left the appointed place, 
he becomes once more the enemy of his quondam host. 

Sec. 55. The relation of protector to prot^g^ is, in its 
inception, a relation between individuals. It is, that is to 
say, not the tribe but the tribesman who is responsible for 
the safety of the stranger, who takes up his quarrels and 
avenges his wrongs. Still, it is the community that insists 
that he shall be protected, not from arty wish to befriend 
him, for it regards his existence as a standing menace to 
its own, but because it recognises in him a capacity of 
serving its interests.^ Enemy though he be, he is necessary 
to it, for it is through him alone that some of its most pressing 
wants can be supplied. The enforcement of the general rule 
except in the one specific case, — the assumption that the 
stranger, if he be not a trader, is an enemy, — is amply justi- 
fied. For the savage does not travel for the sake of travelling, 
or to advance the cause of religion or of science.^ He crosses 
the border of his tribe for two purposes only, — for the purpose 
of making war, and for the purpose of engaging in trade. 

Sec. 56. It is perhaps necessary to explain what we 
mean when we speak of a community as actuated by 
motives ; and we can make ourselves clear most easily by 
means of an illustration. Take for instance foreign trade 
in its most primitive form. Certain members of a tribe 

^ See R. V. Ihering, " Die Gastfreundschaft," p. 357 seq, " Ibid,^ p. 378. 

' The savage cannot be made to understand that an expedition can have 
any object other than gain or conquest (see, for example, St. John, i. 265). ' 
Livingstone observes (" Narrative of an Expedition to the Zambesi," p. 434), 
that " the usual way of approaching an unknown people is to call out in a 
cheerful tone, ' Malonda ! ' Things for sale, or do you want to sell anything ?" 


desire to exchange their goods for those belonging to a 
stranger. They employ the method which appears to them 
to be the most suitable for their purpose ; and if, by its 
means they .succeed in opening a trade, others adopt it. 
Savages are like sheep ; they follow the leader ; and what 
was the innovation of the few becomes the practice of the 
many ; what was the interest of the few becomes the com- 
mon interest. Of. course, it is not to be supposed that the 
action of the individual is consciously directed to the 
realisation of a common aim ; in the first instance, at all 
events, he acts exclusively with a view to his own interest. 
Still, his interest and the interests of his fellows converge 
in one point,— in the establishment of a trade; and, in 
this coincidence of interests, are to be discerned the first 
beginnings of community of interests.^ Conduct, according 
as it serves or disserves these common interests, is approved 
or disapproved by each and all ; and thus a public opinion 
is gradually formed which assigns to individual activities 
their limits, arid determines their direction, — which, in short, 
keeps them to the road which custom has built 

Sec. 57. These interests are not always and everywhere 
the same; they change, and as they change, the law of 
tribal custom changes. In the early life of a society, its 
main concern is to secure its bare existence in the midst 
of hostile surroundings ; and, accordingly, its law proscribes 
the stranger. If, at a maturer stage, it is forced by the 
pressure of new wants to engage in a trade with aliens, it 
can induce them to visit its markets only if it provide for 
their safety ; and, accordingly, its law will protect them. 
We are not to explain this change by supposing that the 
older law proceeds on a misunderstanding of some eternal 

1 See R. V. Ihering, " Der Zweck,'* i. 37 ; W. Bagehot, " Physics and 
Politics/* new edition, London, 1900, No. iii. 


verity which the later law more clearly apprehends. Law 
is not concerned with the ascertainment of eternal verities. 
It exists, and exists only, to safeguard the interests of the 
community within which it prevails ; and, if it perform this 
its task, it needs no further justification. Law is warranted 
in proscribing the stranger, when he is a danger to the com- 
munity, and in protecting him, when he is of service to it 
In short, the earlier law constitutes a stage in a develop- 
ment, — ^a stage which is the necessary prius of all sub- 
sequent stages ; and it is as indispensable to the men of its 
time, as is the later law to the citizens of the modern worlds 
Sec. 58. Law changes, and the change is brought about 
by individual action. Still, the innovator is controlled by 
a public opinion which is intensely conservative. When, 
for example, the primitive tribesman seeks to induce the 
stranger to part with his goods, he applies the principle 
which he found effectual in dealing with his fellows 
within the tribe. At the same time, he adapts the method 
to the novel circumstances. He sets out his goods in the 
expectation of receiving in exchange the articles which he 
desires, and secures his own safety by keeping out of sight.^ 
Again, when he extends his protection to the stranger, he 
clothes it in a familiar garb. He is conversant with the 
exercise of hospitality towards, and by, the men of his own 
tribe, and he shields the stranger by receiving him as his 
guest.^ Still, while the relation is in form that of host to 
guest, it is in substance rather that of protector to prot^g^. 
Thus change proceeds as nearly as possible upon the lines 
of the old usage.* 

1 See R. V. Ihering, '*Der Zweck," i. 435 seq.y ii. 119; Id., "Die Gast- 
freundschaft," 360. ^ See above, sees. 26, 27. ^ See above, sec. 41. 

^ As to the mode in which change in custom is brought about among some 
of the tribes of Central Australia, see Spencer and Gillen, pp. 11-15, 272, 324. 


Sec. 59. We have seen that the exercise of hospitality 
to the stranger is required by law. It is also a moral and 
a religious duty. Of course, we must remember that, when 
we contrast moral or religious with legal duties, we make a 
distinction which is absolutely unknown to primitive man. 
He lives subject, not to rules, but to a rule which is all- 
inclusive, — ^the rule of custom. In observing it, he acts as 
morality, religion, and law require ; in breaking it, he com- 
mits a sin as well as a crime, and thus not only exposes 
himself to the censure of his fellows, but brings himself into 
antagonism with the supernatural. In all cases, accordingly, 
in which hospitality to the stranger forms part of the tribal 
custom, neglect or refusal to exercise it arouses the Divine 
displeasure, not, be it observed, because that neglect or 
refusal is injurious to the stranger, but because it constitutes 
a breach of custom. Moreover, it is not the sinner or the 
criminal alone who suffers for his fault. Corporate respon- 
sibility forms one of the most striking characteristics of 
primitive society. Custom exacts uniformity of conduct 
from men whose natural propensity it is to imitate those 
with whom they are associated ; ^ and this assimilation of 
man to man within the tribe, taken in conjunction with the 
isolation of the tribe itself, accounts in no small measure for 
the solidarity which subsists between its members. The 
community must answer for the guilt of the individual 
belonging to it ; while it, on the other hand, is entitled to 
hold the stranger liable for the deeds of other strangers 
with whom he is wholly unconnected.^ This conception 
is not limited to the affairs of earth ; it has its religious 
side. The whole tribe is imperilled by the sin of the 

* See above, sec. 23. 

2 See above, sees. 9, 50. See also Turner, " Samoa," p. 92 ; Dieffenbach, 
ii. 127. 


tribesman, — by his breach of custom ; — and accordingly, if 
it would escape the Divine wrath, it must insist upon the 
observance of custom. It is not to be supposed, however, 
that it is only as an integral part of custom that the duty 
of hospitality is brought into touch with religion. In many 
instances, it is itself impressed with a sacred character. 
Sometimes a religious significance attaches to the symbolic 
act which not infrequently marks the relation of protector 
to prot^g^. Thus, the presentation to the visitor of betel, 
or of a bowl of drink, or of a lighted cigar,^ has in itself a 
certain sacramental quality.^ Sometimes the host, by 
performing the act, not only expresses his kindly in- 
tentions, but imprecates misfortune on himself, should he 
prove false to his guest.^ And, where the act is in form 
an oath, it is deemed certain that the oath-breaker will be 
punished with death or disease or slavery.* 

Sec. 60. Undoubtedly custom, which exacts uniformity 
of action in all that directly concerns the community, 
tends to make conduct in general uniform, — the similarity 
between the members of a tribe is matter of common 
observation, — and yet it does not obliterate all diversity of 
disposition and character. One savage is by nature braver 
or cleverer or more generous than another; and his dis- 
tinguishing quality is impressed on his actions, even when 
he is following the mere routine of custom. Take for 
instance the case of a community which has learned to 

^ See above, sec. 42. 

2 The religious meaning of these and similar symbolic acts is considered by 
Crawley (** The Mystic Rose ;" see especially pp. 238, 263). 

3 See above, sec. 42. 

* See above, sec. 45. In considering this matter we may not leave out of 
view the instances referred to above (see above, sees. 33, 40), in which not only 
the markets, but the strangers frequenting them, are regarded as under Divine 


appreciate the advantages of foreign trade. It is its interest 
to attract the merchant; and, accordingly, its custom 
prescribes to its members the duty of protecting him. 
Still, as hospitality in its earlier forms is exercised only by 
individuals towards individuals, the mode of its exercise 
will differ as host differs from host and guest from guest 
The man who enjoys the society of his fellow-tribesmen, — 
who receives and entertains them with kindliness and 
generosity, — will, we may be sure, extend like treatment, 
or treatment which is different only in degree, to the 
guest whom custom assigns him. The exercise of hospi- 
tality, even as a mere compliance with custom, tends to 
stimulate the social feelings ; and, of course, the personal 
element of which we have spoken will operate in the same 
direction. Accordingly, the relation between the tribes- 
man and the stranger ceases, in some instances, at all 
events, to be what it was in its inception, — a purely 
external relation. Custom finds a response in the hearts 
of its followers. It, indeed, points out the path which they 
must take ; but they, in taking it, not only conform to 
legal requirement, but obey the promptings of benevolence. 

Thus the rule of law, which prescribes that hospitality 
■shall be extended to the stranger, accords with the sugges- 
tions of feeling, and has behind it the sanctions of religion ; 
and these three elements co-exist undifferentiated in the 
<:omplex of custom.^ 

Sec. 6i. It is at this point that we take leave of hospi- 
tality. At the same time a single observation may be made 
with regard to its later history. We have seen that the 

1 The notion of a god of hospitality, such as the ZciJf ^los of the Greeks, 
appears to belong to a stage of culture more advanced than that with which we 
are dealing. R. von Ihering identifies Zei&s ^ivios with the Phoenician Baal 
«(Die Gastfreundschaft, 393). In the essay just cited he expresses the view 


sphere of morality coincides with that of law so long only 
as the interests of the members of the community are identi- 
cal in range and quality with those of the community itself. 
Except in a society which is wholly unprogressive, such 
an identity can endure but for a time. Now and again 
new wants arise, evoking new activities ; and a practice 
springs up which, in its inception at all events, lies beyond 
the domain of law.^ Or it may be that, owing to some 
change which has taken place in its own circumstances, or 
in those of the persons, not its members, with whom it has 
relations, the community finds that a course of conduct, 
which law made obligatory in its interest, has ceased to 
serve it. In such a case, the sphere of law, as it were, 
contracts, and leaves without the conduct with which it is 
no longer concerned. Of this separation the institution 
of hospitality furnishes an instance. As we have seen,^ a 
community which desires the presence of the foreign 
trader must provide for his safety. It is, in short, its 
interest to protect him. And since law exists, and exists 
only to safeguard its interests, it is the business of law to 

that whatever may have been the private motives which induced this or that 
man to entertain the stranger, it was the practical necessity of a commercial 
people which first made the exercise of hospitality a matter of public concern, 
and raised it to the dignity of a public institution. The Phoenician was par 
excellence the trader of antiquity, and what he required when he touched at a 
foreign port, was not so much a host as a protector. He did not need to be 
housed and fed, for he had a home in his ship. What he did need was to be 
secured from danger to life and property ; and this security he could obtain 
only by attaching himself to some native of the place willing and able to pro- 
tect him {lb, 359, 373, 382 et seq,\ It may quite well be that the origin of 
Phoenician hospitality is to be sought in the trader's need of protection ; but 
Von Ihering*s view that this institution first saw the light among the Phoe- 
nicians does not by any means follow, — it is, indeed, at variance with the 
facts. An interesting account of guest- friendship in Homeric society is given 
by Keller (pp. 299^/^^^.). Schrader ("Reallexikon," p. 270) cites authority 
to the effect that the Celts worshipped a god of hospitality under the name of 
Ceroklis. ^ Cp. sees. 56, 57 above. ^ Cp. sec. 55 above. 


make the necessary provision, and this it makes in the 
institution of hospitality. But where inns are numerous, 
where the ways and places of commerce are secure, the 
merchant requires neither host nor protector, and hos- 
pitality as a legal institution passes away. Still, this 
relation between man and man continues to subsist The 
host, in performing the duties which law imposed upon 
him, found that his guest was a man like himself; and he 
entertained and protected him not merely because, in so 
doing, he consulted his own interest and that of the com- 
munity to which he belonged, but because he saw in him a 
human being who stood in need of assistance. The legal 
duty disappears, the moral duty remains. The form con- 
tinues the same, — the stranger, that is to say, is entertained 
and protected, — but the substance of the relation has 
altered, and the exercise of hospitality comes to be regarded 
no longer as legally obligatory, but as a moral, it may be, 
as a religious, act. Not only does hospitality change in 
character, it becomes extended in range ; it reaches the 
wanderer and the suppliant ; and it is only when it is 
relieved of these cares that, ceasing to protect, and existing 
only to entertain, it sinks to its modern level. 

Sec. 62, We have reached the end of our inquiry. In 
the introductory pages, we have endeavoured to supply 
the setting in which inter-tribal commerce first appears, — 
to bring together, in so far as they directly bear upon it, 
the facts relating to the institutions of the primitive tribe 
and its attitude towards its neighbours. We have given 
some account of the silent trade ; we have seen that it is 
not a mere isolated curiosity, but a usage of which 
instances are to be found in every quarter of the globe ; 
and we have attempted to assign it its place in the history 
of human intercourse. It may perhaps be thought that it 


is irrelevant, in this connection, to examine the evidence 
relating to the primitive market and primitive hospitality. 
We are not of this opinion, however. We think that, until 
we have made ourselves acquainted with that evidence, we 
are not in a position to appreciate the true significance 
of the silent trade. By its means, peaceful intercourse 
between the men of alien tribes is for the first time made 
possible ; and this introduction of a " peace " marks a new 
era in human affairs. The usages of the primitive market 
betray its close connection with the earlier practice, and 
the affinity of the personal privileges of the guest with 
those attached to the trading-place is hardly less obvious. 
Accordingly, it appears to be clear that the later forms, — 
the neutrality of the market and the protection accorded 
by the host, — are not new expedients, but are extended 
applications of the original device. 


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